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To  whom  it  was  my  pleasure  and  privilege 
to  speak  on  Evangelism  at  their  request, 
these  stenographic  reports  of  those  ad- 
dresses are  dedicated  with  the  earnest 
hope  that  they  may  be  of  some  service  in 
at  least  one  branch  of  the  ministry  of  the 


,^'1.  The  Evangel 

II.  The  Church  Evangelistic 

III.  The  Evangelist 

IV.  The  Evangelistic  Service 
V.  The  Present  Opportunity 




The  Hour  is  characterized  by  renewed  interest  in  evan- 
gelistic work.  Men  of  all  shades  of  opinion,  and  men  who 
do  not  seem  to  have  very  profound  opinions  of  any  sort, 
are  nevertheless  turning  their  attention  towards  the  great 
subject  of  evangelism.  I  suppose  there  are  a  few  people 
in  the  Christian  Church  who  have  no  particular  interest 
in  the  subject.  All  I  can  say  of  such  is,  that  they  are 
living  in  the  mental  mood  of  at  least  ten  years  ago. 

A  new  interest  in  evangelistic  work  is  manifesting  itself 
in  different  ways.  Some  people  are  giving  themselves  to 
prayer,  that  God  will  give  us  "an  old-fashioned  revival." 
On  the  other  hand,  a  great  many  people,  equally  de- 
voted and  sincere,  yet  who  are  out  of  harmony  with  what 
they  speak  of  as  the  older  methods  of  theological  think- 
ing, are  nevertheless  looking  for  some  visitation.  These, 
instead  of  praying  for  an  old-fashioned  revival  are  at- 
tempting to  forecast  the  lines  of  what  they  call  "the  new 
evangelism."  Now  I  do  not  want  to  be  unkindly  critical, 
for  I  am  profoundly  conscious  that  the  underlying  fact 


in  each  case  is  of  supreme  value,  but  I  would  never  pray 
for  an  old-fashioned  revival,  nor  would  I  attempt  to  fore- 
cast the  lines  of  a  new  evangelism.  But  why  not  pray 
for  an  old-fashioned  revival  ?  Because  I  want  God's  next 
new  thing.  Then  why  not  forecast  the  lines  of  a  new 
evangelism  ?    Because  one  evangel  is  enough  for  all  time. 

If  a  man  is  praying  for  an  old-fashioned  revival,  in  all 
probability  when  God's  visitation  comes,  he  will  not  be 
conscious  of  it.  I  can  quite  imagine  how  forty  years 
ago,  men  remembering  the  marvelous  movement  under 
Finney,  might  have  prayed  for  an  old-fashioned  revival 
such  as  that  which  accompanied  his  preaching.  Then  it 
is  more  than  likely  that  when  God  raised  up  Dwight 
Lyman  Moody,  such  men  would  be  out  of  sympathy  with 
all  his  methods  for  a  long  while,  for  the  notes  of  the  two 
movements  were  utterly  different.  Or  to  go  back  still 
further  before  the  great  awakening  under  Finney,  per- 
haps some  prayed  for  an  old-fashioned  revival,  like  that 
under  Wesley  and  Whitefield.  If  so,  they  almost  cer- 
tainly lacked  sympathy  with  the  new  notes  at  first. 

God  fulfills  Himself  in  many  ways.  In  every  new 
awakening  there  are  fresh  manifestations  of  God,  new 
unfoldings  of  truth  meeting  the  requirements  of  the  age. 
The  evangel  is  always  fresh  as  the  break  of  day,  and  yet 
as  old  as  the  continuity  of  day-break  through  the  ages. 
We  ought  to  be  so  living  that  when  God  begins  His  great 
triumphant  march,  we  shall  fall  in  with  the  first  battalion, 
and  have  part  in  the  first  victories. 


It  is  equally  false  to  speak  of  a  new  evangelism,  be- 
cause there  is  to  be  no  new  evangel.  When  I  read  what 
that  very  brilliant,  and  very  devoted  Christian  man.  Dr. 
John  Watson,  says  the  lines  of  the  new  evangelism  are  to 
be,  I  am  in  agreement  with  all  he  does  say,  and  out  of 
agreement  in  that  there  are  things  he  does  not  say.  All 
he  says  is  true.  But  there  are  important  things  he  omits. 
The  next  great  movement  will  have  within  it  the  notes 
of  the  social  and  the  ethical.  But  there  will  not  be 
omitted  from  it  the  notes  of  blood  redemption,  and  spirit- 
ual regeneration.  These  are  the  truths  we  have  to  keep  in 
mind.  When  I  hear  of  men  speaking  of  a  new  evangelism, 
it  is  well  to  ask  their  definition  of  the  term  evangelism. 
When  I  see  that  Mr.  B.  Fay  Mills  has  gone  out  into 
evangelistic  work  the  first  impulse  of  the  heart  is  to  re- 
joice. But  when  I  find  that  he  is  simply  preaching  a  doc- 
trine of  a  social  kingdom,  without  insistence  upon  the  ne- 
cessity for  regeneration,  then  it  is  time  we  declare  our 

To  say  that  the  new  evangelism  is  to  be  ethical,  and  by 
that  to  seem  to  criticise  the  old,  is  to  prove  a  misunder- 
standing of  the  old,  and  also  a  misunderstanding  of 
the  deepest  necessity  of  the  times  in  which  we  live 
and  serve.  When  a  man  tells  me  the  next  revival  will 
be  ethical,  does  he  mean  to  say  that  the  last  was 
not?  If  the  great  movements  under  Wesley,  White- 
field,  Finney,  Moody  were  not  ethical,  what  were  they? 
They  were  movements  that  took  hold  of  vast  masses  of 


men,  and  moved  them  out  of  back  streets  into  front  ones, 
and  if  that  was  not  ethical,  surely  nothing  can  be  so. 
Beginning  with  the  regeneration  of  the  man,  they  changed 
his  environment,  and  made  him  a  citizen  of  whom  any 
city  might  have  been  proud.    That  is  the  true  ethical  note. 

In  approaching  a  constructive  statement  concerning  the 
evangel,  I  must  ask  you  to  take  two  things  for  granted : 
first,  the  finality  of  Christianity;  and  secondly,  that  the 
New  Testament  is  the  authoritative  interpretation  thereof. 
By  the  finality  of  Christianity  I  mean  that  the  writer  of  the 
letter  to  the  Hebrews  is  correct  in  his  estimate  as  de- 
clared in  his  opening  sentences.  God  speaks  to  man.  He 
has  spoken  to  men  in  the  past  in  divers  portions,  and  in 
divers  manners.  All  the  messages  of  prophets,  seers, 
and  psalmists,  of  rites,  ceremonies,  and  symbols  were 
but  broken  lights  of  essential  truth.  But  He  has  spoken 
unto  us  by  His  Son,  and  He  has  no  more  to  say  to  men 
than  He  has  said  in  Jesus  Christ.  That  does  not  mean  for 
a  single  moment  that  we  have  perfectly  understood  the 
message  of  the  Son  yet.  I  believe  that  there  is  more  light 
and  truth  to  break  out  from  the  words  of  Jesus,  and 
from  the  fact  of  Christ  in  the  world,  than  men  have  ever 
seen.  But  God  has  said  everything  He  has  to  say,  and  any 
new  so-called  revelation  in  conflict  with  that  spoken  by 
God  in  His  Son  is  thereby  proven  to  be  not  of  the  Spirit 
of  God,  but  from  beneath  and  of  the  devil. 

In  the  second  place  it  must  also  be  accepted  that  the 
New   Testament   is   the   authoritative   interpretation   of 


Christianity.  I  hear  a  good  deal  today  about  the  Chris- 
tian consciousness  as  the  true  court  of  appeal  in  matters 
of  faith  and  practice.  I  am  searching  for  that  Christian 
consciousness.  Is  it  that  of  the  Pope,  or  my  own  ?  Is  it 
consensus  of  opinion?  Then  where  shall  I  find  it  ex- 
pressed ?  I  decline  to  accept  it  as  expressed  in  any  creed. 
Where  then  is  it? 

The  fact  is  that  the  Christian  consciousness  is  a  vari- 
able quantity  according  to  differing  experiences,  and  is 
therefore  wholly  unreliable  as  a  criterion  of  creed  or  char- 
acter or  conduct.  The  Christian  consciousness  must  ever 
be  judged  by  a  standard,  and  that  is  to  be  found  in  the 
New  Testament.  If  you  once  take  away  the  New  Testa- 
ment as  the  final  court  of  appeal  in  matters  of  faith  and 
practice,  you  will  lose  the  Christian  consciousness  in  half 
a  century.  It  has  been  done  once.  The  New  Testament 
was  lost  to  the  churches  in  the  dark  ages.  Then  Luther 
arose,  and  following  the  restoration  of  the  New  Testament 
there  came  back  the  Christian  consciousness.  The  court 
of  appeal  is  the  New  Testament. 

What  is  the  Christian  evangel?  There  is  a  prelimi- 
nary question  which  I  shall  first  attempt  to  answer.  What 
is  an  evangel?  This  word  evangel  has  come  to  us  from 
the  Latin  evangelium,  which  simply  means  a  gospel,  for 
the  word  was  introduced  to  the  language  during  the  eccle- 
siastical period.  So  we  must  pass  back  behind  this  word 
as  it  came  to  us  from  the  Latin,  and  find  it  as  it  stands 
upon  the  pages  of  our  Greek  Testament.    There  it  simply 


means  a  good  message.  A  good  message !  There  is  no 
note  of  sadness  in  an  evangel.  There  is  not  a  tone  of  ter- 
ror in  an  evangel.  An  evangel  is  good  news.  An  evangel 
is  a  good  message. 

In  the  New  Testament  the  thought  is  invariably  that 
of  glad  tidings,  of  good  news,  of  a  message  that  ought  to 
fill  the  hearts  of  those  who  hear  it  with  hope  and  gladness 
and  joy.  The  word,  and  cognate  words,  are  used  by  the 
writers  of  the  New  Testament  who  deal  specially  with 
the  subject  of  the  work  of  Christ  in  its  first  application 
to  the  needs  of  men.  And  these  words  are  singularly 
absent  from  those  writings  which  deal  with  the  deeper 
truths  of  Christian  experience.  Take  the  Gospels,  which 
we  speak  of  as  synoptic,  Matthew,  Mark,  and  Luke,  and 
you  will  find  the  words  recurring  all  the  way  through, 
evangel,  or  evangelist,  or  some  cognate  word.  But  in 
the  Gospel  of  John,  the  word  is  never  used  simply  be- 
cause the  Gospel  of  John  deals  with  the  mystery  of 
Christ's  Person,  and  this  can  only  be  appreciated  by  those 
born  again.  The  evangel  is  the  wicket  gate  of  the  king- 
dom. So  also  with  the  other  writings.  Paul,  and  Peter 
in  his  first  epistle,  and  the  writer  of  the  letter  to  the 
Hebrews  have  these  words,  and  this  because  they  are  in 
all  these  writings  dealing  with  the  initial  facts.  But  they 
are  signally  absent  from  the  writings  of  John  and  James 
and  Jude,  and  the  second  letter  of  Peter.  All  this  indi- 
cates the  principal  thought  of  evangelism,  and  the  value 
of  the  word  as  it  lies  in  the  New  Testament. 

THU    BVANGBL.  13 

The  evangel  is  not  denunciatory  of  sin.  It  is  not  pro- 
nunciatory  of  punishment.  It  is  annunciatory  of  salvation. 
That  is  its  great  value.  This  is  not  to  say  that  the 
preacher  will  not  have  to  discuss  the  subject  of  sin,  will 
not  have  to  proclaim  the  punishment  of  sin.  But  it  is 
to  say  that  the  preacher  who  deals  with  and  denounces 
sin,  will  never  end  his  message  with  such  denunciation. 
He  proclaims  God's  evangel  when  he  announces  the  fact 
that  Christ  is  able  to  save  from  sin,  and  consequently  from 
its  penalty.  So  also  the  evangelist  may  have,  and  indeed 
will  have  to  deal  with  the  severer  aspects  of  truth.  He 
will  have  to  tell  men  that  to  such  as  have  heard  the  evan- 
gel, to  such  as  have  been  confronted  with  the  claims  of 
Jesus  Christ,  there  can  be  no  escape  if  they  turn  their 
back  upon  that  which  is  God's  uttermost  in  the  way  of 
saving  men.  But  he  will  never  proclaim  that  alone.  He 
must  super-add  the  great  and  glorious  and  hopeful  decla- 
ration that  their  sins  were  borne  by  the  One  Who  hung 
on  the  tree,  and  being  so  borne,  in  the  infinite  mercy  and 
justice  of  God  they  may  go  free. 

An  evangel,  therefore,  is  good  news  to  such  as  need 
it.  Joy  is  in  it,  the  note  of  hope,  of  optimism.  It  comes 
to  a  man  in  the  darkness,  and  brings  him  light.  It  comes 
to  a  man  in  bondage,  and  announces  the  way  of  escape. 
It  comes  to  a  man  under  the  sentence  of  death,  and  tells 
him  that  the  sentence  has  been  remitted. 

What  then  is  the  Christian  evangel  as  revealed  to  us 
in  the  New  Testament?    It  has  four  essential  notes. 


The  first  is  that  of  a  vision ;  the  second,  that  of  a  value ; 
the  third,  that  of  a  virtue;  and  the  fourth,  that  of  a 
victory.  The  evangel  proclaims  first,  the  Lordship  of 
Christ;  secondly,  the  Cross  of  Christ;  thirdly,  the  resur- 
rection of  Christ ;  and  finally  an  indwelling  Christ  by  the 
Holy  Spirit. 

First,  the  Lordship  of  Jesus.  Now  you  may  say  to 
me,  But  have  you  put  these  in  their  right  order?  Is  it 
not  true  that  the  first  business  of  the  evangel  is  to  preach 
the  Cross  of  Christ?  I  do  not  think  so.  I  believe  that 
the  first  note  of  the  true  evangel  is  that  of  announcing  to 
men  the  Lordship  of  Christ.  I  am  quite  willing  to  grant 
you  that  very  largely  that  has  been  omitted  from  much 
evangelistic  preaching  which  has  been  blessed  by  God,  and 
yet  I  am  profoundly  convinced  that  the  evangelist  who  is 
going  to  take  hold  of  the  masses  must  return  to  the  old 
apostolic  method  of  preaching  Jesus  as  Lord  first.  But 
it  may  be  objected  He  cannot  be  Lord  of  a  man's  life 
until  the  man  is  saved.  Quite  true,  but  the  vast  majority 
of  people  will  never  begin  to  feel  their  need  of  His  salva- 
tion until  they  have  been  brought  to  stand  in  the  light  of 
the  claim  of  His  Lordship,  and  so  I  insist  upon  the  put- 
ting of  this  first. 

This  was  the  apostolic  method.  In  the  second  chapter 
of  the  Acts  of  the  Apostles  we  have  the  first  sermon 
preached  in  the  power  of  the  outpoured  Spirit,  which  is 
a  perfect  pattern  for  true  Christian  homiletics  to  the 
end  of  time.    It  is  from  first  to  last  an  appeal  to  the  men 

THB    BVANGBL.  15 

who  were  listening.  Peter  was  not  preaching  In  front 
of  the  people  and  wondering  whether  they  would  like  It. 
He  was  preaching  to  them.  And  the  difference  between 
the  preaching  that  does  nothing  and  the  preaching  that 
does  something  Is  the  difference  between  preaching  before 
people,  and  preaching  to  people.  Let  us  look  at  Its  struc- 
ture. It  has  two  divisions.  First,  "This  Is  that."  Sec- 
ondly, "He  hath  shed  forth  this."  "This  is  that  which  was 
spoken  by  the  prophet  Joel,"  the  present  manifestation  set 
in  its  relation  to  old  time  prophesying.  This  day  of  Pen- 
tecost Is  the  fulfillment  of  the  past.  "He  hath  shed  forth 
this."  The  past  was  fulfilled  through  Jesus.  He  was 
the  centre,  and  heart,  and  life  of  the  first  sermon.  And 
the  final  word  of  the  sermon,  to  which  everything  led  up 
was,  "Let  all  the  house  of  Israel  therefore  know  assuredly, 
that  God  hath  made  Him  both  Lord  and  Christ,  this  Jesus 
Whom  ye  crucified." 

Thus  on  the  day  of  Pentecost  Peter  was  proclaiming 
the  Lordship  of  Christ.  Confronting  blind  belief,  and 
flippant  scepticism,  and  idle  curiosity,  and  surging  sorrow, 
and  blinding  sin,  and  masterful  passion,  and  everything 
else,  he  said  "Jesus  Is  Lord."  That  was  the  first  note. 
The  evangelist,  therefore,  has  first  to  confront  this  age 
and  say  to  It,  There  is  one  King,  one  Lord,  one  Master, 
one  seat  of  authority,  one  tribunal  to  which  men  may 
make  their  appeal.  One  Who  upholds  in  His  hands  the 
balance  of  justice,  from  Whose  verdict  there  can  be  no 
appeal,  and  Who  is  at  this  moment  the  Lord  Jesus  Christ. 


This  is  not  a  small  theme.  Start  in  to  preach  that, 
and  you  will  find  you  will  not  finish  it  next  Sunday  morn- 
ing ;  no,  nor  in  a  month's  sermons.  Buddha  and  Confucius 
will  have  a  great  rest,  and  Browning  and  Tennyson  and 
all  the  others  with  their  rush  lights  will  not  allure  you 
from  the  great  essential  light,  the  Lordship  of  Jesus 

We  have  not  merely  to  claim  that  Jesus  is  Lord,  but  we 
have  to  demonstrate  that  He  is  Lord.  We  have  to  show 
to  this  age  in  the  light  of  a  new  century,  with  all  its 
advance,  and  progress,  and  civilization,  that  Jesus  Christ 
is  Lord  not  merely  because  God  has  appointed  Him  King 
— though  that  is  true — ^but  because  of  His  inherent  roy- 
alty. God  did  not  appoint  Jesus  to  Kingship  capriciously. 
He  appointed  Him  to  Kingship  because  He  is  King  in 
the  very  fibre  of  His  nature,  in  the  very  fact  of  His  per- 
sonality. We  challenge  the  world  today,  and  we  say 
that  the  Jesus  of  the  New  Testament,  the  Jesus  of  the 
virgin  birth,  the  virtuous  life,  the  vicarious  dying,  and  the 
victorious  resurrection,  stands  amid  this  age,  with  all  its 
fierce  light,  its  boasted  civilization,  and  its  new  psychol- 
ogy, facile  princepSj  the  crowned  Lord  because  of  the 
supernal  glory  of  His  own  character. 

But  you  tell  me  that  these  things  are  not  authentic,  that 
you  have  abandoned  the  Gospel  of  John,  that  Matthew  and 
Mark  and  Luke  are  not  to  be  trusted,  and  that  in  all  prob- 
ability that  Man  never  existed.  Very  well.  Then  my 
business  is  to  find  the  man  who  imagined  this  Man,  for 


the  man  who  imagined  Him  must  be  as  great  as  the  Man 
imagined.  You  do  not  get  away  from  the  Person  revealed 
when  you  think  you  have  done  away  with  the  books. 
He  stands  out  in  the  midst  of  this  age,  our  Master  and 
Lord,  and  there  never  has  been  one  Hke  Him.  And  you 
and  I  have  to  tell  men  to  test  all  sides  of  their  nature 
by  Jesus  Christ.  They  have  to  bring  up  to  His  royalty 
their  intellect,  their  emotion,  their  will.  They  have  to 
test  their  creed,  their  character,  their  conduct  by  Him. 
He  has  moved  into  this  new  century  with  all  its  electric 
gaudiness,  with  the  supernal  loveliness  of  the  King  of 
men.  And  no  man  dare  come  into  the  presence  of  the 
Man  of  Nazareth  revealed  in  the  Gospels,  and  say,  I 
am  mightier  or  better  than  Thou,  or,  I  know  more  than 
Thou  knowest,  O  Man  of  Nazareth.  He  is  the  Lord  of 
men,  and  our  business  is  to  proclaim  it,  to  insist  upon  it, 
to  die  for  it  if  need  be. 

But  if  you  stop  there  you  are  not  preaching  the  Gospel. 
See  what  follows.  If  Jesus  is  indeed  preached  as  Lord, 
there  must  always  be  as  the  issue  of  it  an  application  of  the 
truth  to  individual  needs.  No  man  ever  yet  stood  searched 
by  the  light  of  that  revelation  of  life  without  having  to 
bow  his  head  with  shame,  and  say,  I  am  a  sinner.  To 
preach  the  living  Lordship  of  Christ  is  to  create  the  ne- 
cessity for  His  Cross.    Do  we  sufficiently  realize  this  ? 

If  I  said  that  the  first  note  of  the  evangel  is  the  Lord- 
ship of  Christ,  I  am  quite  willing  to  grant  that  the  heart 
of  the  evangel  is  the  Cross.    This  age  is  peculiarly  char- 


acterized  by  a  loose  sense  of  sin  amongst  men.  We  Have 
today  to  preach  to  people  who  are  not  really  willing  to 
admit  that  they  are  sinners:  pleasant,  refined,  cultured 
people,  whom  we  hardly  feel  inclined  to  tell  that  they  are 
sinners,  and  who,  if  we  did,  would  not  feel  quite  like  be- 
lieving it.  There  are  people  who  will  never  have  any 
consciousness  of  sin  as  long  as  we  keep  them  at  Mount 
Sinai.  But  there  is  not  a  man  but  that,  if  you  bring  him 
into  the  presence  of  Jesus  Christ,  and  say  That  is  your 
King,  His  law  is  your  standard,  His  realization  of  life 
is  your  ideal,  will  go  down  in  the  presence  of  that  and 
will  say,  I  am  a  sinner.  I  have  the  profoundest  sympathy 
for  the  young  man  in  the  Gospel  who  said,  '*'A11  these 
things  have  I  kept  from  my  youth  up."  I  was  born  in 
a  Christian  family,  and  through  that  gracious  fact — never 
to  be  undervalued — was  strangely  and  wonderfully  de- 
livered from  many  of  the  more  vulgar  methods  of  sin, 
and  I  want  to  say  to  you,  in  all  honesty,  and  all  sincerity, 
I  never  trembled  when  I  heard  the  law  of  Moses.  But 
when  I  came  into  the  presence  of  the  radiant  loveliness  of 
Christ,  when  I  heard  his  teaching,  when  I  saw  His  per- 
fection, then  I  said,  If  that  is  what  I  ought  to  be,  O  my 
God,  how  have  I  sinned !  I  stand  in  the  presence  of  an 
external  ethical  code  such  as  that  of  Moses,  and  I  do  not 
tremble.  But  whenever  I  come  near  the  Incarnate  Purity, 
into  the  presence  of  the  Incarnate  Love,  I  am  ashamed, 
debased,  bowed  in  the  dust.  Brethren,  we  must  preach 
Christ  as  Lord,  and  there  will  come  to  our  people  a  sense 

THB    BVANGBL.  19 

of  sin,  a  consciousness  of  inability,  of  failure,  of  break- 
down. There  is  no  other  way  of  bringing  men  into  this 

Then,  thank  God,  we  have  the  next  note  of  the  evangel. 
Oh,  how  shall  we  tell  it?  May  God  keep  us  living  so 
near  to  it  that  it  shall  always  be  to  us  an  element  of  as- 
tonishment ! 

"  Were  the  whole  realm  of  Nature  mine, 
That  were  a  present  far  too  small, 
Love  so  amazing,  so  Divine, 
Demands  my  life,  my  soul,  my  all." 

'Xove  so  amazing!"  Are  we  amazed  at  that  Love? 
Are  we  astonished  at  that  Love  ?  Think  of  it,  that  ideally 
perfect  One,  that  infinite  Lord  and  Master,  went  down 
to  death.  If  you  are  only  preaching  His  Lordship,  that 
is  not  enough.  If  all  you  have  to  preach  to  men  is  His 
example,  that  is  not  enough.  Unless  there  is  all  that  the 
New  Testament  claims  there  is  in  that  death,  then  that 
death  is  the  severest  reflection  upon  the  goodness  of  God 
that  the  world  has  ever  seen.  Unless  there  is  a  meaning  in 
it,  such  as  the  New  Testament  declares  to  be  in  it,  then 
in  the  presence  of  the  Cross,  I  lose  my  faith  in  God. 
If  death  is  simply  the  tragic  ending  of  so  beautiful  a  life, 
and  nothing  more,  then  God  has  done  nothing  when  He 
ought  to  have  done  something.  But  v/hen  I  take  the 
New  Testament,  and  see  what  Christ  says  about  His 
own  death,  and  what  the  inspired  writers  of  the  New 


Testament  say,  and  when  there  comes  superadded  to  the 
Christ's  estimate  and  the  estimate  of  the  apostles,  the 
answer  of  my  heart  to  the  inner  meaning  of  the  Cross, 
then  I  know  that  the  Cross  is  the  heart  and  centre  of  a 
great  evangel.  We  are  to  tell  men  we  fail,  but  the  One 
Who  never  failed  took  our  place.  You  cannot  get  away 
from  the  words  vicarious  atonement.  The  Cross  is  su- 
premely the  heart  and  centre  of  our  great  evangel.  But 
I  am  told  today  that  there  are  men  so  cultured  and  refined 
that  they  do  not  care  to  talk  about  blood;  men  who  cut 
out  from  the  singing  of  the  Church  such  hymns  as, 
*'There  is  a  fountain  filled  with  blood,"  who  object  to 

"  Not  all  the  blood  of  beasts." 

Why  do  you  object  to  those  things?  You  say  they  lack 
refinement?  Refinement!  Do  you  go  to  the  Cross  for 
refinement?  You  go  to  the  Cross  to  see  what  sin  is. 
Is  blood  objectionable?  Of  course  it  is.  Is  the  brutal 
murder  of  a  perfect  man  awful?  Certainly  it  is.  But 
why  was  it  necessary?  Because  of  sin.  Sin  is  not  re- 
fined, and  I  come  to  the  Cross  to  know  the  meaning  of  my 
own  sin.  I  find  my  sin  when  I  stand  in  the  presence  of 
the  light  of  the  Cross.  But  I  never  know  its  meaning 
until  I  see  the  Lord  Christ  crucified.  Certainly  there 
is  no  refinement  in  it.  We  must  get  back  to  the  Cross  to 
know  all  its  ruggedness,  to  know  all  its  brutality,  its 
blood-baptism.    It  is  only  there  that  the  heart  finds  the 

THB    BVANGEL.  21 

conscience  cleaned.  I  am  going  to  put  this  superlatively. 
I  am  talking  out  of  my  deepest  conviction  when  I  say 
that  if  God  would  forgive  me  without  the  Cross  then 
I  never  can  be  satisfied  with  His  forgiveness.  My  own 
conscience  is  not  at  rest.  There  is  that  sin  in  the  past, 
and  if  God  says,  I  will  forgive  on  the  basis  of  pity,  that 
is  not  enough,  for  it  is  there  still.  But  when  God  says 
to  me,  It  is  not  there,  He,  the  Son  of  My  love  took  it. 
He  in  Whom  was  no  sin,  was  made  sin,  and  in  the 
passion  of  His  death,  in  the  agony  of  His  baptism,  in 
the  blood  of  the  brutal  Cross,  all  of  which  had  no  place 
in  His  life.  He  was  dealing  with  your  sin,  then  my  heart 
begins  its  song,  the  song  that  will  never  end  while  eter- 
nity lasts.  My  conscience  demands  this  Cross,  and  God 
answers  that  deepest  human  consciousness  of  mine,  which 
He  Himself  had  made.  We  must  be  very  suspicious  of 
any  new  evangel  that  has  no  Cross  in  it. 

There  is  yet  another  thing,  and  I  am  trying  to  trace 
them  as  they  come  in  the  order  of  experience.  A  man 
stands  erect  until  he  sees  the  vision  of  the  Lord  Jesus 
Christ,  and  then  he  is  afraid  until  he  sees  the  value  of 
the  Cross  of  Christ,  and  he  says,  I  am  a  sinner  forgiven. 
Now  what  else  ?  I  have  to  live  in  the  same  place,  in  the 
midst  of  circumstances  against  me,  suffering  the  same 
temptations,  still  within  the  midst  of  forces  which  will 
entice  me  to  sin,  though  I  am  forgiven.  Then  we  must 
preach  the  value  of  the  resurrection,  that  He  "brought 
life  and  immortality  to  light,*'  that  men  may  have  life, 


not  merely  eternal  life,  but  life  as  a  force  and  virtue, 
a  power  and  possibility  in  the  life.  I  like  my  Lord's 
words  better  than  any  other,  "I  came  that  they  may  have 
life,  and  may  have  it  abundantly  ...  I  lay  down 
My  life  for  the  sheep"  and  if  I  **lay  it  down,"  I  will 
"take  it  again."  And  that  is  what  He  did.  He  laid 
it  down  in  death,  and  took  it  again  in  resurrection. 
If  righteousness  is  imputed  to  me  because  He  died  for 
me,  holiness  and  a  new  righteousness  are  imparted  to 
me  because  He  lives  in  me.  And  that  is  the  great  mes- 
sage we  have  to  bear  to  men  today.  There  are  thousands 
of  men  who  will  hardly  thank  you  for  the  doctrine  of 
forgiveness  unless  you  can  tell  them  there  is  salvation 
from  the  slavery  of  sin. 

And  yet  once  again.  A  man  will  say,  I  saw  the  vision, 
and  I  knew  I  was  a  sinner.  I  have  received  the  value 
and  am  forgiven  by  the  Cross.  There  has  been  imparted 
to  me  its  virtues,  and  I  am  enabled  to  do  the  things  I 
could  not  do.  But  what  other  forces  are  there?  Must 
I  fight  this  battle  alone?  And  there  comes  the  crowning 
declaration  of  the  evangel,  never  to  be  put  off  as  a  second 
subject,  as  a  second  blessing,  or  anything  else.  Right 
here  in  line  is  the  coming  to  man  of  Jesus  by  the  Holy 
Spirit,  that  Spirit  to  be  the  Paraclete,  the  Advocate,  the 
One  Who  in  the  life  is  the  dynamic,  the  force  that  shall 
produce  the  coming  victory  in  the  man. 

What  then  shall  I  say  to  the  men  to  whom  I  preach 
the  evangel  ?    One  thing  only,  Submit  to  the  Lord  Christ. 


And  if  a  man  do  that  what  then  ?  Then  the  Lord  Christ 
by  the  Holy  Spirit  will  make  over  to  him  the  value  of 
His  dying,  will  communicate  to  him  the  virtue  of  His 
living,  will  pour  into  him  the  victory  of  the  indwelling 
Spirit.  These  three  things  are  the  necessary  consequence 
of  the  submission  of  life  to  His  Lordship.  Men  will 
not  be  saved  by  understanding  the  atonement.  Men  will 
not  be  saved  by  explaining  the  mystery  of  resurrection. 
Men  will  not  be  saved  by  explanation  of  the  mystery  of 
how  the  Spirit  comes.  They  will  just  be  saVed  by  yield- 
ing to  the  Lord  Christ.  In  the  moment  of  yielding,  He 
makes  over  to  them  all  the  virtues  and  values. 

I  have  attempted  to  speak  of  the  New  Testament 
evangel.  Let  me  close  by  saying,  the  evangel  is  the 
only  one  that  meets  the  essential  needs  of  human  na- 
ture in  any  age.  It  is  ageless.  You  cannot  say  it  is 
old  or  new.  It  must  be  zealously  guarded  from  addition 
or  subtraction.  To  add  conditions  to  the  evangel  of 
the  New  Testament,  or  to  curtail  it,  is  to  make  it  value- 
less and  vicious. 

To  deprive  the  evangel  of  any  note  is  to  make  it  in- 
operative. If  you  are  preaching  an  evangel  with  no 
vision  of  the  Lord  Christ,  it  is  emasculated.  If  you  are 
preaching  an  evangel  without  the  value  of  His  death, 
it  is  senemic.  If  you  are  preaching  an  evangel  with  no 
virtue  in  it,  it  is  sentimental.  If  you  are  preaching 
an  evangel  with  no  victory,  it  is  hopeless. 

If  we  have  this  great  whole,  the  vision  of  the  Lord, 


the  value  of  His  cross,  the  virtue  of  His  life,  the  vic- 
tory of  His  indwelling  by  the  Spirit,  you  have  yet  to  find 
me  the  city,  the  village,  the  nation,  the  people,  the  man, 
or  the  child,  that  will  not  have  such  good  news  as  they 
are  waiting  for,  and  apart  from  which  there  can  be  no 



Evangelism  apart  f  romthe,0iurch.  is  ■impossible.  Cjirist 
was,  and  is  the  one  Evangelist.  He  now  fulfills  His  great 
Work  of  proclaiming  the  good  tidings  through  His  Body, 
which  is  the  Church.  In  the  four  Gospels  we  have  a 
picture  of  Christ,  and  at  the  opening  of  His  second 
treatise  Luke  makes  use  of  words  which  indicate  for  us 
the  character  of  the  Gospel  narrative,  and  suggest  that 
of  the  book  of  the  Acts  of  the  Apostles.  "The  former 
treatise  I  made,  O  Theophilus,  concerning  all  that  Jesus 
began  both  to  do  and  to  teach,  until  the  day  in  which 
He  was  received  up."  That  sentence  reveals  to  us  the 
character  of  the  Gospel  story.  The  "former  treatise" 
is  the  story  of  the  beginning  of  the  doing  and  che  teach- 
ing of  Jesus.  The  latter  is  therefore  by  inference  the 
story  of  the  continuity  of  the  doing  and  teaching  of 
Christ.  In  the  Gospel  Jesus  is  seen — to  use  His  own 
suggestive  word — "straitened"  until  His  baptism  should 
be  accomplished.    In  the  book  of  the  Acts  of  the  Apostles 



the  same  Jesus  is  seen  no  longer  straightened,  for  the 
passion-baptism  is  accomplished,  and  He  risen,  ascended, 
enthroned,  has  come  into  new  relationship  with  men  by 
the  Holy  Spirit,  to  continue  His  work  through  the  Church 
by  the  Spirit.  Consequently  the  evangel  proclaimed  by 
Christ  in  measure  during  His  life,  is  proclaimed  by 
Christ  in  fullness  through  the  Church  by  the  Holy  Spirit 
in  this  age 

Evangelism  apart  from  the  Church  is  apart  from  Christ, 
and  is  therefore  no  evangelism.  There  can  be  no  evan- 
gelism save  that  of  Jesus  Christ,  and  that  can  only  be 
spoken  by  Christ  Himself  through  His  people  by  the 
Holy  Spirit.  Anything  calling  itself  evangelism  which 
is  not  the  outcome  of  that  new  life  of  Christ,  realized  in 
the  soul  of  men,  and  spoken  through  men  by  Christ,  is  not 

Unattached  and  unauthorized  evangelism,  even  by  in- 
dividual members  of  the  Church  of  Christ,  is  to  say  the 
least,  unwise,  and  not  the  most  fruitful  of  permanent 
results.  I  do  not  desire  to  criticize  unkindly  any  move- 
ment that  acts  independently  of  the  churches,  although 
I  do  not  hesitate  to  say  that  I  have  grave  suspicion  of 
everything  that  boasts  that  it  is  undenominational.  I 
have  a  very  great  love  for  everything  that  is  inter-de- 
nominational, which  is  quite  another  matter.  But  all 
unattached,  freelance  work,  unauthorized  and  ungov- 
erned  by  the  Church,  is  not  the  best  work  possible,  and 
tends  to  disorder  and  confusion.    We  must  hold  to  the 

very  highest  doctrine  of  the  Church,  or  our  evangelism 
V  will  be  weak  and  one-sided.  Believing  therefore  that  the 
relation  between  the  Church  and  evangelistic  work  is 
all  important,  we  will  carefully  consider  the  Church  as  to 
its  creation,  its  nature,  and  its  purpose. 

The  New  Testament  deals  with  the  Church  in  two  ways, 
as  Catholic  and  as  local ;  the  whole  Church  of  the  Living 
God,  and  a  church  in  any  given  locality.  Sometimes 
I  am  asked  what  church  I  belong  to.  When  I  reply,  I  am 
a  Catholic  Churchman,  I  have  seen  people  look  sur- 
prised. Yet  that  is  exactly  what  I  am.  Catholic  means 
universal.  The  Catholic  Church  is  the  whole  Church. 
Such  a  phrase  as  "Roman  Catholic"  constitutes  an  ab- 
surd contradiction  of  terms.  If  Catholic,  then  not  Roman. 
If  Roman  only,  then  by  no  means  Catholic.  That  is 
equally  true  of  the  term  ''Anglican  Catholic." 

The  New  Testament  deals  with  the  whole  Church,  but 
it  also  deals  with  the  local  church.  The  word  Church 
is  used  sometimes  of  the  whole  Church  of  God,  and  some- 
times of  a  church  in  a  given  locality,  as  in  Ephesus,  in 
Corinth,  in  Thessalonica,  in  Philippi. 

So  far  as  the  records  reveal,  the  Lord  only  twice  in 
the  course  of  His  public  ministry  referred  to  the  Church. 
He  used  the  word  Church  once  in  its  catholic  sense, 
and  once  in  its  local  sense,  so  that  the  general  New 
Testament  uses  of  the  word  harmonize  with  that  of  Christ. 

The  first  occasion  was  when  Peter  had  made  the  su- 
preme confession  of  the  Messiahship  of  Jesus,  "Thou 


art  the  Christ."  At  that  parting  of  the  ways  the  first 
half  of  our  Lord's  work  was  accomplished.  He  had 
taught  a  little  group  of  men,  the  nucleus  of  His  King- 
dom, that  He  was  the  Christ,  the  Anointed,  the  Messiah 
of  God.  And  then  He  immediately  commenced  to  teach 
them  a  new  thing,  to  bring  them  into  view  of  the  path- 
way through  which  the  Messiah  should  accomplish  the 
purpose  of  God.  He  began  to  talk  to  them  of  the  Cross, 
but  before  mentioning  the  Cross  He  said  to  Peter,  ''Thou 
art  Peter,  and  upon  this  rock  I  will  build  My  Church; 
and  the  gates  of  Hades  shall  not  prevail  against  it." 
That  is  a  perfect,  final,  and  all-inclusive  declaration  con- 
cerning the  Church.  First,  "Upon  this  rock  I  will  build 
My  Church."  Secondly,  ''the  gates  of  Hades  shall  not 
prevail  against  it,"  not  one  thing  repeated,  but  two  dis- 
tinct facts  about  the  Church.  I  think  we  have  too  often 
read  the  passage  as  though  the  Lord  said  the  same  thing 
twice  over.  But  if  you  follow  the  figure  carefully,  you 
will  find  that  Jesus  was  absolute  Master  of  metaphor. 
There  was  no  blunder,  and  no  intellectual  inaccuracy  in 
the  figures  He  used.  ''On  this  r_Qck,"  that  is  the  declaration 
of  the  impregnable  strength  of  His  Church  against  the 
attacks  fronT'without.  ""I  will  build,"  that  is  an  afiirma- 
tion  of  the  certainty  of  its  perfection  and  completion. 
But  what  follows?  The  same  thing  repeated  in  another 
form?  By  no  means.  "The  gates  of  Hades  shall  not 
prevail  against  it."  That  does  not  mean  that  the  ChurcK 
is  impregnable  against  attack,  but  rather  that  she  is 

THB     CHURCH    BVANGEHSTIC.         29 

unconquerable  when  she  goes  forth  to  attack.  An  at- 
tacking  force  ntfver  carries  its  own  gates  up  to  besiege 
a  city.  If  Hades  is  contemplating  an  attack  upon  the 
Church,  it  will  not  carry  its  gates  with  it.  The  idea 
is  not  that  Hades  will  attack  the  Church,  fentJiLat-ihe 
Church  will  attack  Hades,  and  as  she  does  so,  the  very 
gates  of  Hades  will  yield  before  her. 

Thus  we  have  two  declarations  about  the  Church  by 
the  Master ;  she  is  built  by  Christ  on  the  rock,  and  when 
she  goes  forth  on  the  conquests  of  Christ,  she  conquers 
all  intervening  foes,  and  finally  the  last  enemy,  the  very 
gates  of  Hades,  shall  yield  to  her.  She  shall  conquer 
through  life,  through  death,  and  unto  the  endless  ages. 
/  That  is  the  Church  I  belong  to,  the  Church  impregnable, 
unconquerable,  marching  out  in  perpetual  triumph  into 
the  ages  beyond.  That  is  Christ's  estimate  of  the  Church. 
On  a  subsequent  occasion  Jesus  mentions  the  Church 
again,  "If  thy  brother  sin  against  thee,  go,  show  him  his 
fault  between  thee  and  him  alone;  if  he  hear  thee,  thou 
hast  gained  thy  brother.  But  if  he  hear  thee  not,  take 
thee  one  or  two  more,  that  at  the  mouth  of  two  witnesses, 
or  three,  every  word  may  be  established.  And  if  he  refuse 
to  hear  them,  tell  it  unto  the  vchui:pii ;  and  if  he  refuse 
to  hear  the  church  also,  let  him  be  unto  thee  as  the  Gen- 
tile and  the  publican."  That  is  the  church  local.  It  is 
impossible  to  tell  to  the  whole  catholic  Church  anything 
between  your  brother  and  yourself;  but  it  can  be  told 
and  it  ought  to  be  told  to  the  local  church  if  that  brother 


is  refusing  to  listen*  It  is  a  perfect  picture  of  the  church's 
discipline.  The  church  is  to  be  so  constituted,  a  fellow- 
ship of  souls  in  Christ,  that  the  wrong  doing  of  one  is 
felt  by,  and  affects  the  whole ;  and  the  purity  of  the  en- 
tire Church  must  be  maintained,  even  at  the  cost  of  the 
excommunication  of  a  brother  who  persists  in  wrong 

Thus  we  learn  from  the  words  of  Jesus,  that  the 
Church  is  the  building  of  Christ  on  the  rock,  that  the 
Church  is  the  aggressive  force  which  Christ  leads  to 
ultimate  victory,  that  the  Church  within  herself  is  a 
fellowship  exercising  discipline,  caring  for  her  own  in- 
ternal life,  and  able  to  exercise  final  and  Divine  authority 
in  the  case  of  all  those  in  membership.  These  things  are 
true  of  the  catholic  Church,  and  also  of  the  local  Church. 

From  these  first  uses  of  the  word  in  the  New  Testa- 
ment it  is  at  once  seen  that  the  local  church  is  a  model 

of  the  catholic  Chyrch,  that  all  the  truths  concerning  the 
catholic  Church  are  true  in  measure  and  in  degree  of 
the  local  church,  and  if  we  would  understand  what  the 
function  and  the  force  of  the  local  church  is,  we  shall 
have  to  attempt  to  get  a  vision  of  the  function  and  the 
force  of  the  catholic  Church. 

Now  as  I  pass  from  these  words  of  Jesus,  one  or  two 
words  concerning  the  use  of  the  word  in  the  Acts  of 
the  Apostles  will  be  in  order.  In  the  second  chapter  of 
the  Acts  of  the  Apostles,  and  the  forty-seventh  verse, 
"And  the  Lord  added  to  them  day  by  day  those  that 

run     CHURCH    BVANGBLISTIC.         31 

were  saved,"  the  word  church  is  inserted  in  King  James' 
Version,  It  is  not  in  the  original  text.  Its  introduction 
is  of  the  nature  of  exposition,  and  translators  almost  in- 
variably break  down  when  they  attempt  exposition.  The 
statement  there  is  that,  "the  Lord  added  together  them 
that  were  being  saved,"  and  the  translators  thought  it 
must  be  ''added  to  the  Church."  Seeing  the  word  Church 
was  not  there  in  the  original,  the  English  and  American 
revisers  altered  it,  and  put  "added  to  them,"  that  is,  to 
the  disciples.  That  also  is  only  true  in  a  secondary  sense. 
The  thought  is  that  He  added  them  to  Himself.  Of  course 
it  is  true  that  when  He  adds  a  man  to  Himself,  He  adds 
him  to  the  Church. 

Through  the  Acts  of  the  Apostles  the  word  Church  is 
used  sometimes  of  the  catholic  and  sometimes  of  the 
local  church,  and  the  local  is  always  treated  as  a  part 
and  model  of  the  catholic.  The  actual  word  ecclesia 
is  used  of  the  congregation  of  Israel  in  the  wilder- 
ness once.  In  the  nineteenth  chapter  the  word  is  used 
in  the  purely  Greek  sense,  "Some  therefore  cried  one 
thing,  and  some  another:  for  the  assembly  was  in  con- 
fusion. .  .  .  But  if  ye  seek  anything  about  other 
matters,  it  shall  be  settled  in  the  regular  assembly. 
.  .  .  When  he  had  thus  spoken,  he  dismissed  the  as- 
sembly f  That  word  assembly  is  ecclesia.  I  am  not 
suggesting  that  the  translation  is  improper.  I  think  it 
is  wise  that  the  word  assembly  is  used  on  this  occasion. 
What  was  the  assem.bly  here  referred  to?     It  was  the 


gathering  together  of  the  members  of  one  particular 
trade.  It  is  the  first  record  we  have,  so  far  as  I  know, 
of  a  trade  union  meeting,  and  the  word  assembly  indi- 
cates the  truth.  The  reference  is  not  to  the  great  pro- 
miscuous crowd  which  was  congregated  to  see  what 
was  going  on,  but  that  particular  and  select  number, 
bound  together  by  a  common  purpose  under  a  common 
impulse.  The  Greek  word  is  there  used  in  its  simplest 
form.  It  means  a  called  out  assembly.  It  is  the  as- 
sembly of  the  silversmiths,  and  it  is  the  assembly  of  the 
town  government.  That  is  the  word  ecclesia,  in  its 
simple  etymological  intention. 

That  word  has  been  taken  hold  of  by  the  Christian 
fact,  and  has  become  the  great  word  for  the  Church. 
And  it  means  very  simply,  an  assembly  of  people,  called 
out,  selected  from  the  rest.  In  the  letter  to  the  Ephe- 
sians  we  have  a  picture  of  the  Church  in  these  wonderful 
words,  ''There  is  one  body,  and  one  Spirit,  even  as  also 
ye  were  canes'  in  one  hope  of  your  calling;  one  Lord, 
one  faith,  one  baptism,  one  God  and  Father  of  all.  Who  is 
over  all,  and  through  all,  and  in  all."  There  is  nothing 
in  all  the  New  Testament  that  is  more  wonderful  in 
its  revelation  of  the  nature  of  the  true  Church.  Notice 
first  the  apostle  describes  the  Church,  as  ''one  body." 
What  is  the  body?  Christ  and  every  believer.  Not  the 
believers  without  Christ.  The  body  includes  the  Head. 
Of  course  if  we  speak  of  the  Head  and  the  body,  then 
for  the  single  moment  we  mean  by  the  body,  all  ex- 

THB     CHURCH    BVANGBLISTIC.         33 

cept  the  Head ;  but  in  the  statement  "there  is  one  body," 
in  this  passage  the  apostle  is  taking  in  the  whole  fact, 
Christ  Who  is  the  Head,  and  all  members.  "One  Spirit," 
that  is  the  life  of  the  one  body,  the  intelligence  of  the 
one  body,  the  emotion  of  the  one  body,  the  will  of  the 
one  body.  "He  that  is  joined  to  the  Lord  is  one  Spirit," 
so  that  the  whole  body  of  the  Church  is  one  with  the 
Head,  and  the  Head  is  one  with  the  body,  and  that  one 
unifying  Spirit  of  God,  in  Christ  and  in  all  believers, 
creates  the  one  body.  One  dominating  life  that  of  the 
Spirit,  in  Christ  and  in  the  believer,  unifying  Christ  and 
the  believer,  and  all  believers  with  each  other,  because 
all  are  united  to  Christ. 

"One  body,  and  one  Spirit,  even  as  also  ye  were 
called  in  one  hope  of  your  calling,"  that  is  to  say,  there 
is  one  calling  for  Christ  and  the  believer,  for  the  whole 
Church  which  is  the  body.  In  the  former  part  of  the 
epistle  that  calling  is  declared  to  be  that  of  showing  to 
the  ages  to  come  the  grace  of  God,  and  teaching  the 
principalities  and  powers  in  the  heavenlies  the  manifold 
wisdom  of  God.  That  will  be  the  work  of  Christ  and 
His  people  forever. 

One  body,  Christ  and  all  the  members.  One  Spirit, 
filling  the  whole  body  up  to  its  last  reach.  One  calling, 
the  eternal  calling  of  Christ  in  union  with  the  Church, 
and  the  Church  in  union  with  Christ.  This  is  a  general 
statement  concerning  the  organism,  the  life,  the  calling  of 
the  Church, 


The  apostle  next  shows  how  individual  members  be- 
come members  of  the  Church,  how  the  units  enter  this 
living  unity.  ''One  Lord,"  the  Object  of  faith;  "one 
faith,"  set  upon  the  one  Lord;  "one  baptism,"  the  bap- 
tism of  the  Holy  Spirit,  that  unites  the  faithful  soul  with 
the  living  Lord.    That  is  the  whole  process. 

The  first  note  in  the  evangel  is  that  of  the  Lordship  of 
Christ.  Jesus  is  Lord  by  virtue  of  the  splendour  of 
His  character,  by  virtue  of  the  victory  of  His  Cross, 
by  virtue  of  the  power  of  His  resurrection.  That  "one 
Lord,"  is  presented  to  the  soul  as  the  Object  of  faith.  The 
answer  of  faith  to  the  vision  of  the  Lord  is  the  whole 
of  human  responsibility.  That  is  the  "one  faith."  Its 
nature  is  that  of  believing  on  Him,  or  receiving  Him  as 
Lord.  It  is  the  act  of  the  will  in  surrender.  That  act 
of  faith  is  responded  to  by  the  "one  baptism,"  that  bap- 
tism of  the  Holy  Spirit  whereby  the  soul  believing  on 
the  Lord  is  made  a  member  of  the  Lord  Himself. 

Thus  the  individual  enters  the  Church.  The  one  Lord 
is  presented  to  him.  He  believes.  The  Spirit  baptizes 
him,  and  he  is  a  member.  The  human  responsibility  is 
belief,  the  Divine  answer  is  the  baptism  of  the  Holy 
Spirit  whereby  that  man  is  merged  into  the  Christ  life, 
and  becomes  a  member  of  Jesus  Christ.  "One  Lord,  one 
faith,  one  baptism." 

Thus  is  He  building  His  Church.  Man  cannot  admit 
into  the  catholic  Church.  No  one  is  admitted  into  the 
Church  by  water  baptism,  nor  by  vote  of  a  church  meet- 

THU     CHURCH    BVAN  GBLI S  T I C ,         35 

ing,  nor  by  the  decision  of  a  session.  A  person  en- 
ters the  Church  when  the  Holy  Spirit  baptizes  him  into 
Christ.  All  the  other  things  may  be  necessary  in  order 
that  the  discipline  of  the  local  church  may  be  maintained. 
There  ought  to  be  solemn  recognition  of  some  kind  when 
a  man  joins  the  outward  and  visible  church,  but  all  such 
matters  are  outward  and  visible,,  recognitions  of  the  in- 
ward and  invisible  facts.  The  (only  condition  on  which 
any  person  should  be  admitted  to  a  local  church  is  that  \ 
evidence  is  given  of  membership  in  the  catholic  Church 
by  the  baptism  of  the  Holy  Spirit. 

Once  again,  *'One  God  and  Father  of  all,  Who  is  over 
all,  and  through  all,  and  in  all."  That  is  the  last  fact  of 
the  sevenfold  unity.  It  indicates  the  glorious  realization 
of  the  purpose  and  plan  of  God  in  His  government  of, 
operation  through,  and  union  with  the  ransomed  society. 

This  great  Church  of  the  firstborn  is  being  built,  and  as 
yet  man  has  never  seen  it.  We  see  parts  of  it,  but  the  scaf- 
folding is  all  about  it  yet;  and  sometimes  it  seems  as 
though  there  were  more  scaffolding  than  Church.  But 
when  He  comes,  all  the  scaffolding  will  go;  and  the 
glorious  Church  of  the  firstborn,  made  up  of  ransomed 
souls  baptized  into  the  life  of  Christ,  the  great  entity  and 
unity  through  which  God  will  manifest  Himself  to  ages 
and  to  principalities,  will  be  revealed  in  all  its  radiant 

Let  us  now  think  of  the  local  church  in  the  light  of  this. 
Every  church  is,  as  is  the  catholic  Church,  an  assembly 


of  those  submitted  to  the  Lordship  of  Christ.  That  is 
liie  gate,  that  is  the  entrance,  that  is  the  foundation  fact. 
A  local  church  is  therefore  an  assembly  of  souls  submit- 
ted to  the  Lordship  of  Christ.  That  does  not  tell  all  the 
story,  but  it  gives  the  key  to  the  whole  truth.  Every- 
thing else  follows,  and  to  understand  that,  let  us  go  back 
to  our  evangel.  The  first  note  is  that  of  the  Lordship  of 
Christ.  Men  submit  to  that  Lordship  by  believing  on 
Him.  Then  not  only  do  they  see  the  vision  of  the  Lord, 
but  share  the  value  of  His  death,  and  the  virtue  of  His 
life,  and  the  victory  of  His  presence.  In  the  fifth  chap- 
ter of  Romans  we  see  how  these  things  are  realized 
within  the  Church  in  the  living  members  who  are  bap- 
tized into  union  with  Christ.  The  tenth  verse,  "For  if, 
while  we  were  enemies,  we  were  reconciled  to  God 
through  the  death  of  His  Son,  much  more,  being  recon- 
ciled, shall  we  be  saved  in  His  life."  The  seventeenth 
verse,  "For  if,  by  the  trespass  of  one,  death  reigned 
through  the  one;  much  more  shall  they  that  receive  the 
abundance  of  grace  of  the  gift  of  righteousness  reign 
in  life  through  the  One."  "Reconciled  by  His  death," 
"reign  in  life."  Now  as  an  aid  to  memory  let  us  take 
three  words,  reconciled,  regenerate,  regnant.  These 
words  mark  the  truth  in  the  case  of  every  individual  be- 
liever. The  individual  believer  submitted  to  the  Lord- 
ship of  Christ,  is  reconciled  to  God  by  the  value  of 
His  death,  regenerate  by  the  virtue  of  His  life  commun- 

THB     CHURCH    BVANGBHSTIC.         37 

icated,   regnant  by  the  indwelling  Christ  through   the 
Holy  Spirit. 

Now  believing  that  a  church  is  an  assembly  of  such 
persons,  what  results  follow?  Every  church  is  intended 
to  be  within  itself  a  manifestation  of  all  the  purposes  and 
the  facts  of  the  Kingdom  of  God.  A  church  is  an  as- 
sembly of  persons,  who  in  the  power  of  the  indwelling 
life  of  Christ,  realizing__the  ideals  of  Jesus,  obey  th^ 
teaching  of  Jesus,  and  take  part  in  the  activities  of  Jesus. 
It  is  here  where  perhaps  the  Church  has  most  sadly  failed 
in  the  past,  and  where  the  failure  of  the  Church  today 
is  most  apparent.  We  have  too  largely  looked  upon  the 
negative  side,  which  has  to  do  almost  exclusively  with 
such  facts  as  constitute  the  saving  of  the  individual  from 
sin,  and  from  punishment.  These  are  most  important 
facts.  But  the  great  society  of  God,  vitally  one,  essen- 
tially one,  socially  one,  aggressively  one,  where  is  it  at 
the  present  hour?  The  Church  ought  to  be  a  society 
accepting  the  ideals  of  Jesus,  and  realizing  them  in  the 
power  of  His  life ;  consequently  a  society  of  people  obey- 
ing the  moral  code  of  Jesus,  and  therefore  a  society  of 
people  manifesting  to  the  world  the  breadth  and  beauty 
and  beneficence  of  the  Kingship  of  God  in  and  through 
Jesus  Christ,  Is  that  what  the  Church  is  ?  That  is  what 
the  Church  ought  to  b)e,  for  that  is  the  Divine  intention. 

But  someone  will  ^y.  What  has..all±  do  witli.the— ^ 
evangelistic  Church.    And  the  very  fact  of  the  question 
reveals  the  weakness   of  the  hour.     The   Church  has 


largely  failed  in  evangelism  because  the  Church  has  not 
realized  within  her  own  borders  the  force  of  her  own  life. 
We  ask  how  is  it  that  the  masses  refuse  to  listen  to 
her  evangel,  and  are  treating  her  in  so  marked  a  degree, 
with  contempt?  Because  the  masses  see  perfectly  well 
that  she  is  not  obedient  to  her  own  Master's  ideals,  and 
does  not  realize  His  purpose.  That  is  the  severest  crit- 
icism, and  it  ought  to  make  us  blush,  and  hide  our  heads 
with  shame,  that/'^he  Church  is  not  fulfilling  her  Mas- 
^ter's  ideals.  The  evangelistic  Church  is  the  Church  which 
shares  Christ's  life,  and  in  the  power  of  it  obeys  His 
law,  and  thus  manifests  Him  to  the  world.  Thus  alone 
can  the  Church  engage  in  His  work,  and  carry  out  His 
enterprises.  When  the  Church  realizes  and  manifests  her 
Lord,  in  her  personal  membership,  and  corporate  capacity, 
then,  and  then  only  is  she  doing  His  work,  the  work  of 
seeking  and  saving  the  lost.  That  is  the  evangelistic 
Church,  and  that  is  the  true  Church  of  Jesus  Christ. 

The  purposQ  of  the  Church  is  certainly  that  of  con- 
serving the  life  of  the  saints,  but  this  only  in  order 
that  every  saint,  and  all  the  saints,  may  be  strong  for 
carrying  out  the  purposes  and  the  work  of  Jesus  Christ. 
"Ye_  shall  be  My  witnesses,"  not  witnesses  as  talkers 
merely,  but  evidences,  credentials,jlemonstratipns,  proofs 
among  men.  The  only  Church  which  is  truly  evangelistic 
is  the  Church  which  realizes  within  her  own  borders  all 
the  will  of  her  Lord  and  Master  Jesus  Christ. 

Strength  of  spiritual  life  always  issues  in  the  mani- 

THB     CHURCH    BVANGBIISTIC.         39 

festation  through  the  Church  to  the  world  of  the  facts  of 
the  Kingship  of  God  in  Christ,  and  the  power  of  Jesus 
Christ  to  deal  with  all  the  things  in  human  life  that  are 
contrary  to  the  mind  and  will  of  God.  The_Church  is  to 
be  aggressive,  capturing  men,  fighting  against  wrong, 
urging  everywhere  and  always  the  claims  of  Jesus  Christ, 
and  this  she  can  only  be  as  within  her  own  borders  there 
is  realized  the  purposes  of  God. 

In  conclusion,  the  evangelical  Chiirch  is  necessarily 
evangelistic.  There  are  some  things  so  patent  they  ought 
not  to  need  stating.  Yet  there  seems  to  be  a  prevalent 
idea  that  it  is  possible  for  a  church  to  be  evangelical 
and  not  evangelistic.  It  is  not  possible.  A  friend  of 
mine  in  the  ministry,  a  man  of  whose  scholarship  and 
whose  devotion  there  can  be  no  doubt,  talking  to  me 
about  evangej^tic  work,  accounting  for  his  own  lack  of 
interest  said,  *'Well  I  am  profoundly  evangelical,  but  I  am 
by  no  means  evangelistic."  There  would  seem  to  be 
many  who  take  that  view.  Let  me  say  to  you,  my  breth- 
ren, that  this  is  an  absurd  contradiction  of  terms.  No 
man  is  truly  evangelical  unless  he  is  evangelistic  also. 
What  did  my  friend  mean?  He  meant  that  he  held 
the  evangelical  doctrines  of  our  holy  faith,  but  he  was 
not  interested  in  the  specific  work  of  winning  men  to 
Christ.  Now  what  are  the  foundation  doctrines  of  our 
holy  faith?  Evangelical  faith  affirms  the  death  of  Christ 
was  rendered  necessary  by  the  ruin  of  the  race,  and  that 
it  is  God's  provision  for  man's  salvation.     It  moreover 



declares  that  His  life  is  at  the  disposal  of  men  for  their 
new  life  of  holiness.  Are  we  evangelical?  Do  we  be- 
lieve that  Jesus  died  in  order  that  He  might  save  men?  If 
not,  then  we  cannot  claim  to  be  evangelical.  But  if  we 
do,  can  we  seriously  assert  that  holding  the  doctrines,  we 
are  yet  content  to  do  nothing  for  the  men  for  whom 
Christ  died  ?  Knowing  that  we  have  the  deposit  of  truth, 
the  great  evangel,  equal  to  the  salvation  of  men,  are  we 
careless  about  making  it  known  ? 

Some  times  one  reads  an  advertisement  which  declares 
a  sure  and  certain  cure  for  cancer  has  been  discovered. 
A  man  so  advertising  is  wholly  despicable.  In  the  first 
place  because  the  assertion  is  a  lie,  but  secondly  because 
if  it  is  true,  he  is  a  rogue  to  hold  for  purposes  of  per- 
sonal gain  a  secret  which  should  immediately  be  given  to 
the  world  for  the  cure  of  that  awful  disease.  And  a 
man  tells  me  he  is  evangelical,  he  holds  the  truth  about 
salvation,  and  is  thankful  to  God  for  the  salvation  of 
his  own  poor  miserable  soul.  I  deny  it.  If  the  Cross  of 
Christ  in  his  own  life  has  meant  deliverance,  cleansing, 
purity,  that  consciousness  will  drive  any  man  out  into 
evangelistic  work  and  effort. 

Evangelism  demands  a  Church,  and  wherever  the 
Church  of  Jesus  Christ  is,  there  is  an  instrument  for 
evangelistic  work,  because  there  is  a  company  of  men 
and  women  in  whom  the  evangel  has  won  its  victory, 
and  through  whom  it  is  manifested  as  a  life,  and  pro- 
claimed as  a  message. 

THB     CHURCH    BVAN  GBLI  ST  I C .         41 

Let  me  say  to  all  ministers,  you  will  find  you  must  have 
your  church  act  with  you  if  you  are  going  to  do  any 
evangelistic  work.  And  to  church  members,  it  is  no  use 
wasting  breath  in  the  criticism  of  a  minister  because 
he  is  not  doing  evangelistic  work.  Let  the  Church  fall 
into  line.  One  of  the  first  missions  of  the  ministry  will 
be  to  bring  his  church  into  sympathy,  and  that  will  often 
need  a  great  deal  of  common  sense  and  patience. 

No  church  ought  to  be  allowed  to  exist  that  has  not 
added  to  its  membership  by  confession  of  faith.  If  a 
church  is  existing  only  by  letters  of  transfer,  it  is  time 
the  doors  were  closed,  and  ''Ichabod,  the  glory  of  the 
Lord  has  departed"  was  inscribed  across  them. 

This  evangelism  must  begin  in  the  churches.  The 
churches  themselves  must  be  turned  back  to  the  work 
of  evangelism.  We  are  trusting  too  much  to  organiza- 
tions outside  the  Church.  It  is  in  the  Church  the  work 
must  be  done.  We  shall  have  to  travail  in  birth  for  the 
souls  of  our  own  people.  When  in  our  own  church  life 
all  the  forces  of  the  Christ  life  are  operative  without  hind- 
rance, then  men  will  be  brought  under  the  sound  and 
power  of  the  great  and  glorious  evangel.  May  God 
make  all  our  churches,  churches  after  the  pattern  of 
the  catholic  Church,  "one  body,  one  Spirit,  one  calling," 
and  "God  over,  through,  in  all,"  moving  to  His  purpose, 
accomplishing  that  purpose  through  the  Spirit  of  Jesus 



The  doctrine  of  New  Testament  ministry  lies  wholly 
within  that  of  the  Church.  The  ministry  serves  the 
Church  under  the  Lordship  of  Christ.  That  is  not  to 
say  that  ministers  are  servants  of  the  Church  in  the 
sense  of  obeying  the  Church.  They  do  serve  the  Church 
butthey  obey  the  Lord  Christ.  From  that  statement 
two  initial  truths  are  to  be  deduced  and  remembered: 
First,  the  ministry  has  no  right  to  lord  it  over  God's 
heritage;  and  secondly,  God's  heritage  has  no  right  to 
lord  it  over  the  ministry.  I  have  of  set  purpose  used 
Peter's  phrase.  Writing  to  the  elders  and  the  bishops 
he  says,  "neither  lording  it  over  the  charge  allotted  to 
you."  The  word  "charge"  there  is  kleros,  the  word  from 
which  we  derive  our  word  clergy.  According  to  Peter, 
the  whole  Church  was  the  clergy,  and  bishops  were  men 
who  were  to  serve  the  clergy,  and  not  lord  it  over  thern. 
Every  believer  is  in  the  priesthood,  and  the  whole  Church 
is  the  clergy,  and  yet  within  the  whole  Church  there  is  a 
distinct  ministry. 



Our  present  subject  is  concerned  principally  with  that 
section  of  the  Christian  ministry  indicated  by  the  word 
evangelist.  But  in  order  properly  to  understand  the 
function  of  the  evangelist  we  must  take  time  to  set  that 
particular  aspect  of  the  ministry  in  relation  to  the  whole. 
There  is  too  often  a  measure  of  friction  between  the 
evangelist  and  those  who  are  exercising  other  gifts  of 
the  ministry,  and  this  friction  acts  in  two  ways.  Pastors 
and  teachers  sometimes  entertain  a  feeling  almost 
amounting  to  contempt  for  evangelists.  The  evangel- 
ist on  the  other  hand,  very  often  manifests  a  contempt 
for  pastor  and  teacher.  Now  this  is  all  utterly  false; 
contrary  to  the  spirit  of  the  New  Testament,  contrary  to 
the  spirit  of  love,  contrary  to  the  spirit  of  wisdom,  con- 
trary to  the  Spirit  of  God.  If  we  may  but  see  the  inter- 
relationship of  these  gifts,  that  a  man  is  in  the  ministry, 
not  by  his  own  choice,  but  by  the  choice  of  the  Holy 
Spirit,  and  that  the  work  of  each  is  not  contradictory 
to  the  work  of  the  rest,  but  complementary  rather,  then 
we  shall  be  a  long  way  towards  understanding  the  true 
place  of  the  evangelist,  and  making  for  him  his  proper 
place  in  the  work  of  the  Church  of  Jesus  Christ. 

^'He  gave  some  apostles,  and  some  prophets,  and  some 
evangelists,  and  some  pastors  and  teachers,  for  the  per- 
fecting of  the  saints,  for  the  work  of  the  ministry."  This 
is  the  reading  of  the  King  James  Version,  and  we  have 
interpreted  it  as  though  these  gifts  were  bestowed  in 
order  that  those  receiving  them  might  perfect  the  saints, 


and  do  the  work  of  the  ministry.  As  a  matter  of  fact 
what  the  apostle  meant  was  that  these  gifts  are  bestowed 
on  men  in  the  Church,  in  order  that  they  may  by  their 
ministry  perfect  the  Church,  so  that  the  Church  may  do 
the  work  of  the  ministry.  The  fullest  fact  of  ministry 
includes  the  whole  Church,  and  the  men  within  it  who 
have  received  special  gifts,  have  received  them  in  order 
that  the}^  may  perfect  the  Church  to  its  work  of  ministry. 
The  translation  of  the  Revisers  makes  this  much  more 
clear,  "He  gave  some  apostles;  and  some,  prophets;  and 
some,  evangelists ;  and  some,  pastors  and  teachers ;  for  the 
perfecting  of  the  saints,  unto  the  work  of  ministering.' 
"He  gave  some  apostles."  The  specific  work  of  the 
apostles  was  the  perfecting  of  the  doctrine,  the  funda- 
mental basis  of  teaching.  "He  gave  some,  prophets." 
The  work  of  the  prophet  was  the  perfecting  of  the  forth- 
telling,  the  declaration  of  the  truth.  "He  gave  some, 
evangelists."  The  work  of  the  evangelist  is  the  perfect- 
ing of  the  number  of  the  Church  by  calling  men  into 
relationship  with  Christ.  "He  gave  some,  pastors  and 
teachers."  Their  work  lies  wholly  within  the  Church, 
and  is  that  of  perfecting  the  character  of  the  members 
of  the  Church  in  order  that  the  whole  Church  may  be 
perfectly  equipped  for  its  ministry.  These  are  the  true 
orders  of  the  Christian  ministry.  These  are  the  fund- 
amental and  spiritual  orders,  and  we  must  recognize  them 
if  there  is  to  be  any  fulfillment  of  the  whole  function  of 
our  ministry. 


But  now  let  us  enquire  how  a  person  in  the  Church 
becomes  a  minister  within  the  Church.  Let  us  turn  to 
Corinthians,  in  the  first  letter,  chapter  twelve.  Here  we 
have  a  chapter  that  always  ought  to  be  read  side  by  side 
with  this  fourth  chapter  of  Ephesians,  on  the  subject  of 
Church  order.  In  that  chapter  you  will  find  that  the 
apostle,  beginning  a  section  concerning  the  spirituali- 
ties, deals  first  with  the  Lordship  of  Jesus,  and  then  with 
the  ministry  of  the  Spirit  of  God,  and  as  a  sub-section 
thereof,  with  the  gifts  bestowed  by  the  Spirit.  He  is 
dealing  with  gifts  far  larger  than  those  of  the  ministry 
to  which  he  refers  in  Ephesians.  In  the  course  of  his 
argument  he  makes  a  statement  of  vital  importance,  that 
the  Spirit  bestows  these  gifts  upon  ''each  one  severally 
even  as  He  will."  In  Ephesians  the  same  principle  is  de- 
clared, that  ''He  gave  some,  apostles;  He  gave  some, 
prophets;  He  gave  some,  evangelists;  He  gave  some, 
pastors  and  teachers."  The  whole  emphasis  of  the  truth 
is  that  capacity  for  ministry  in  any  form  is  a  gift,  and 
it  is  a  gift  bestowed  by  the  Head  of  the  Church  through 
the  Holy  Spirit  according  to  His  own  pleasure.  There- 
fore no  man  can  choose  to  be  a  minister  of  Jesus  Christ, 
as  any  man  may  choose  the  profession  of  medicine,  or 
of  law.  No  man  ever  really  enters  the  Christian  min- 
istry in  the  deep  spiritual  sense  of  the  term,  save  as  he 
receives  a  gift  from  the  Head  of  the  Church  by  the 
Holy  Spirit  which  perfectly  equips  him  for  the  work 
he  has  to  do. 


We  are  hearing  a  great  deal  in  these  days  of  the  dearth 
of  men  entering  our  theological  seminaries.  I  have  been 
asked  if  I  would  not  urge  upon  young  men  that  they 
should  give  themselves  to  the  ministry,  urge  them  to 
adopt  the  ministry  as  a  calling  in  life  which  is  high,  and 
holy,  and  beautiful.  And  my  reply  always  is,  I  dare  not 
urge  any  man.  No  man  can  enter  the  ministry  of  his 
own  will  and  choice.  The  only  way  in  which  a  man 
can  possibly  enter  the  ministry  is  when  the  Holy  Spirit 
of  God  bestows  upon  him  a  gift  from  the  Head  of  the 
Church.  By  that  gift  he  is  made  a  minister  of  Jesus 
Christ.  Nothing  short  of  that  makes  a  minister,  and  that 
being  so,  nothing  can  prevent  his  being  a  minister,  except 
his  own  disobedience  to  the  heavenly  calling.  I  would 
very  solemnly  urge  young  men  to  consider  well  whether 
or  not  they  have  not  had  the  gift  and  the  calling,  and 
are  refusing  it.  Has  there  come  upon  your  soul  some- 
where, somewhen,  a  barning  passion  to  preach  the  Word, 
a  great  constraint,  a  sure  conviction  that  you  can  preach 
it ;  and  have  you  allowed  some  secular  calling,  some  ma- 
terial advantage  to  persuade  you  that  you  can  still  be  a 
good  Christian  and  make  money?  It  is  at  the  peril 
of  your  soul  you  stay  there.  If  once  the  gift  is  bestowed 
then  "woe"  is  that  man  if  he  "preach  not  the  Gospel." 

Notice  m  the  next  place  that  these  gifts  refer  to  spe- 
cial spiritual  qualifications  for  the  doing  of  special  spir- 
itual service.  What  is  a  gift  bestowed  upon  a  man? 
What  is  the  gift  of  the  apostle,  the  gift  of  the  prophet, 


the  gift  of  the  evangelist,  the  gift  of  the  pastor  and 
teacher?  I  do  not  mean  what  is  the  specific  vahie  or  the 
distinction  between  these,  but  what  is  the  underlying 
quality  in  each?  What  is  a^^jift?  The  gifts  are  certainly 
not  such  as  may  be  designated  natural  endowments. 
They  are  spiritual  quantities  and  qualities,  besto^yed  for 
the  doing  of  spiritual  work.  A  man  receives  the  gift  of 
an  apostle.  Then  in  him  there  is  a  spiritual  force,  a 
spiritual  vision,  a  spiritual  fitness  that  his  brethren  have 
not,  which  fits  him  for  doing  a  distinctly  spiritual  work, 
the  work  of  the  apostolate.  So  with  all  of  them.  Xi^ 
gift  is  a  spiritual  qualification. 

But  while  it  is  true  that  the  gift  is  bestowed,  and  is 
not  merely  a  natural  endowment,  it  is  also  perfectly  cer- 
tain that  the  Spirit  of  God  never  bestows  a  spiritual  gift 
for  service  except  upon  men  who  have  natural  endow- 
ments that  will  enable  them  to  use  it.  There  is  nothing 
m  the  economy  of  God  out  of  joint  and  out  of  place. 
There  is  perfect  harmony  between  God's  first  creation  and 
the  bestowment  of  special  spiritual  gifts.  The  new  birth 
does  not  mean  the  death  of  everything  essential  and  noble 
in  the  first  birth,  but  its  life.  So  also  when  God  bestows 
the  gift  of  the  apostle,  or  the  prophet,  or  the  evangel- 
ist, or  the  pastor  and  teacher  upon  a  man,  the  gift  will 
be  bestowed  upon  men  who  have  natural  aptitudes  and 
fitness  and  endowments  for  their  work.  A  young  man 
in  my  church  telfs  me  God  has  called  him  to  preach. 
Then  I  immediately  give  him  opportunities  to  preach. 


I  find  him  an  occasion  in  the  Mission  Hall,  or  in  a  cot- 
tage ;  and  in  oversight  with  me  there  will  be  my  brethren 
in  the  diaconate,  and  they  will  hear  him,  not  critically, 
but  with  the  solicitude  of  a  great  and  passionate  desire 
to  help  him.  And  if  after  a  little  while  we  find  that  the 
man  has  no  natural  endowment  I  would  say  to  him  in 
love  and  in  all  honesty.  My  friend,  you  have  evidently 
made  a  mistake.  God  has  never  called  you  to  preach, 
or  you  would  be  able  to  preach. 

We  have  been  making  the  terrible  mistake  of  putting 
a  man  through  the  theological  seminary,  and  when  he  has 
completed  his  course  we  find,  and  he  finds  that  he  is  not 
a  preacher,  and  so  he  writes  essays  to  the  end  of  time. 
Essays  are  excellent  things,  but  the  writing  and  reading 
of  them  is  not  preaching.  We  must  find  the  men  with 
natural  endowments  and  the  spiritual  gifts.  If  a  man 
has  that  twofold  equipment,  and  is  responsive  to  the 
heavenly  vision,  you  cannot  stop  him  preaching,  and  you 
cannot  stop  his  preaching  with  power.  The  gift  is  a 
spiritual  quantity  and  quality,  bestowed  upon  a  man  hav- 
ing natural  endowments.  The  gift  of  the  pastor  and 
teacher  will  be  a  spiritual  quality  of  appreciation  of  truth 
bestowed  upon  a  man  who  is  a  born  teacher  and  a  born 
shepherd.  The  gift  of  the  prophet  will  be  an  apprecia- 
tion of  truth  in  its  application  to  the  needs  of  his  age, 
bestowed  upon  a  man,  who  if  he  is  not  a  preacher  must 
be  a  speaker  somewhere  or  other.  It  is  affirmed  that  men 
with  absolutely  no  gift  of  speech,  receiving  the  spiritual 


gift  have  become  great  preachers.  Personally  I  have 
never  known  such  a  case.  I  was  told  in  England  some 
years  ago  by  a  dear  man  who  held  very  strongly  that 
all  spiritual  power  in  service  was  spiritual  merely,  that 
there  was  no  connection  between  man's  natural  capacity 
and  the  spiritual  gift,  and  the  instance  cited  was  D.  L. 
Moody,  and  I  was  told  he  had  no  natural  gifts  of  ora- 
tory, that  everything  he  had  was  the  spiritual  equipment. 
I  am  not  undervaluing  the  spiritual  equipment,  but  if 
D.  ly.  Moody  had  gone  into  politics  instead  of  preach- 
ing, you  would  have  found  that  he  would  have  swayed 
vast  audiences,  and  that  he  was  a  man  of  natuial  endow- 
ment. A  gift'  is  a  spiritual  quantity  and  quality  be- 
stowed by  the  Head  of  the  Church  at  His  own  will 
through  the  Holy  Spirit  upon  those  who  are  naturally 
endowed  to  receive  it.  That  is  the  fundamental  truth 
concerning  the  vocation  and  the  force  and  the  power  of 
the  Christian  ministry. 

Let  us  now  notice  the  inter-relation  of  these  gifts. 
/^  The  apostle  was  the  first  messenger.  The  work  of  the 
apostle  consisted  in  the  proclaiming  of  truth  first,  and 
then  in  the  committal  to  sacred  writings  of  the  truth. 
It  is  written  in  the  Acts  of  the  Apostles  that  the  early 
disciples  "continued  steadfastly  in  the  apostles'  teach- 
ing." In  that  phrase  we  have  the  indication  of  one  part 
of  the  work  of  the  apostolate.  I  am  inclined  to  say 
the  gift  of  the  apostolate  is  still  conferred  under  cer- 
tain circumstances  for  specific  work.     At  the  birth  of 


all  great  missionary  movements  there  has  been  an  apostle, 
a  first  messenger,  one  with  a  specific  gift  to  go  forth 
and  tell  at  the  beginning  the  doctrines  of  the  Way. 

Then  we  have  the  work  of  the  prophet.  The  peculiar 
and  distinctive  note  of  prophetic  utterance  is  that  a  man 
who  is  a  prophet  foretells  the  truth  from  God  without  any 
reference  to  the  pleasure  or  anger  of  the  people.  This 
is  the  prophetic  note.  You  find  it  in  the  old  prophecies. 
"Whether  they  will  hear,  or  whether  they  will  forbear." 
The  prophet  is  not  an  evangelist.  The  prophet  does  not 
come  down  into  personal  dealing,  and  constraint  of  in- 
dividual lives.  The  prophet  is  a  man  whose  voice  is 
lifted  in  an  age,  pouring  out  truth,  compelling  the  age 
at  least  to  hear  it.  Whether  it  will  obey  or  not  is  not  his 
responsibility.  That  is  the  characteristic  note  of  the 
prophet  in  all  dispensations.  And  God  has  never  been 
without  prophets  in  this  Christian  era. 

The  evangelist  is  a  name  signifying  a  man  who  tells 
the  glad  tidings  always  with  a  view  to  constraining  the 
man  who  listens  by  the  evangel,  to  that  of  which  the 
evangel  bears  testimony.  I  am  inclined  to  think  that 
the  opportunity  of  the  evangelist  is  today  often  made  by 
the  prophet;  that  in  prophetic  utterances  and  prophetic 
ministry  there  is  an  arousing  of  conscience  and  inquiry, 
and  to  that  the  evangelist  comes  with  his  personal  and 
individual  message  of  the  Lordship  of  Christ;  the  value 
of  His  Cross;  the  virtue  of  His  resurrection;  and  the 
glorious  victory  of  His  indwelling.     And  the  evangel- 


ist  is  therefore  the  one  who  in  the  name  of  the  Church 
tells  men  and  women  outside  how  they  may  come  inside, 
declares  the  glorious  glad  news  of  the  infinite  Gospel. 

As  in  response  to  the  message  of  the  evangel,  men 
crowd  to  the  Christ,  owning  Him  Lord,  receiving  the 
value  of  His  death,  the  virtue  of  His  life,  the  assurance 
of  victory,  then  the  pastor  and  teacher  begins  to  teach 
them,  and  train  them,  and  to  watch  over  them.  There 
are  two  words  that  mark  the  work  of  the  pastor  and 
teacher;  overseer,  and  pastor.  He  is  one  who  watches, 
and  feeds  the  flock  of  God.  John  Milton,  when  speaking 
of  false  pastors,  and  their  failure  in  the  ministry  de- 
scribes them  in  a  most  remarkable  phrase.  He  speaks 
of  them  as  "blind  mouths."  And  he  says,  "The  hungry 
sheep  look  up,  and  are  not  fed."  It  is  a  terrible  indict- 
ment, and  that  because  it  is  scriptural.  It  appears  a 
contradiction  in  terms,  "blind  mouths."  It  is  not  so, 
for  as  Ruskin  points  out,  Milton  brought  together  the 
two  facts  in  the  work  of  the  pastor  and  teacher.  His 
first  work  is  to  watch  over  the  flock,  but  Milton  says  he 
is  "blind."  His  second  work  is  to  feed  the  sheep,  but 
Milton  says  instead  of  doing  that  he  is  trying  to  be  fed 
himself,  he  is  a  "mouth." 

Let  no  evangelist  think  that  the  pastor  and  teacher  who 
year  by  year  patiently  feeds  the  flock  is  not  doing  God's 
work  because  he  is  not  doing  that  of  the  evangelist. 
And  let  no  pastor  and  teacher  think  that  the  men  passing 
over  the  country  like  a  flame  of  fire,  proclaiming  salvation 


and  constraining  men  to  acceptance,  are  sensational 

Oh  this  great  Church  of  Jesus  Christ,  if  we  could 
only  realize  it,  with  its  great  gifts;  the  apostle,  the  first 
messenger  to  the  new  region;  the  prophet,  the  perpetual 
voice  proclaiming  truth,  the  evangelist,  the  perpetual  voice 
calling  men  to  the  Christ,  the  pastor  and  teacher,  in- 
structing, leading,  guiding,  and  culturing  the  saints. 

But  I  must  leave  that  larger  outlook.  I  have  at  least 
said  enough  to  show  the  place  of  the  evangelist,  and  to 
show  there  is  no  antagonism  between  the  work  of  the 
different  orders.  I  once  heard  W.  L.  Watkinson,  one  of 
the  most  wonderful  preachers  in  England  today,  with 
a  marvelous  gift  of  sanctified  satire,  say  in  a  great  con- 
gregation of  ministers,  "The  pity  is  we  do  not  understand 
each  other."  He  continued,  "I  go  to  one  man  in  the  reg- 
ular pastorate,  and  I  say  to  him,  'What  do  you  think  of 
these  special  men'  and  he  replies  with  a  curl  of  his  lip, 
'Sensation.' "  And  then  I  come  to  a  special  man  and  I 
say  to  him,  "What  do  you  think  of  that  quiet  man  down 
there'  and  he  says,  'Oh,  stagnation !' "  And  that  tells 
the  truth  of  the  attitude  too  often  indulged  in  against 
each  other.  In  the  light  of  this  great  truth  of  the  com- 
plementary nature  of  the  gifts  we  ought  to  recognize  the 
fact  that  every  man  in  the  ministry,  while  he  will  have 
one  specific  gift  above  all  others,  will  yet  have  sympa- 
thy with  all  the  rest,  for  I  still  believe  that  the  Holy 
Spirit  confers  gifts  of  this  order  upon  the  Church,  giv- 


ing  some  prophets,  some  evangelists,  some  pastors  and 
teachers.  Happy  indeed  is  that  church  whose  eccle- 
siastical order  will  allow  it  to  make  room  for  a  man 
to  exercise  the  gift  God  has  bestowed,  and  unhappy  is 
that  Church  who  wants  each  of  its  ministers  to  be  some- 
thing of  a  prophet,  and  something  of  an  evangelist,  and 
something  of  a  pastor  and  teacher,  and  thus  making  him 
something  of  each,  makes  him  the  whole  of  nothing.  We 
want  room  for  the  orderliness  of  the  Spirit  of  God  in 
our  ecclesiastical  arrangements. 

But  now  where  this  is  established,  and  we  see  the  inter- 
relation of  these  gifts,  and  how  there  is  no  conflict  but 
perfect  harmony  where  the  whole  Church  and  ministry 
is  under  thef  dominance  of  the  Spirit,  we  may  turn  to 
the  specific  gift  of  the  evangelist.  In  the  New  Testa- 
ment only  two  men  are  definitely  spoken  of  as  evangel- 
ists. Philip  is  called  an  evangelist,  and  in  the  final  charge 
of  Paul  to  Timothy,  he  says  "Fulfill  thy  ministry,  do 
the  work  of  an  evangelist."  It  is  at  least  significant 
that  the  two  men  who  are  called  evangelists  are  in  en- 
tirely different  circumstances,  and  suggests  as  I  think, 
the  two  types  of  the  evangelist.  Philip  was  a  man^at 
large.  He  was  not  definitely  in  charge  of  any  Church, 
nor  was  he,  as  I  believe,  set  apart  by  any  apostolic 
function  to  his  work.  He  was  an  evangelist,  prepared 
by  the  impartation  of  a  qualification  for  telling  the  Gospel, 
to  tell  the  Gospel.  He  moves  from  place  to  place.  He 
goes  to  Samaria,  then  he  speaks  to  the  individual  eunucK, 


and  is  caught  away  to  Azotus.  Then  we  find  him  moving 
up  through  Caesarea,  at  last  settHng  down,  his  children 
coming  up  after  him,  and  uttering  the  same  great  Gos- 
pel. That  is  one  evangelist  as  I  see  him  in  the  Acts  of 
the  Apostles. 

The  other  is  a  man,  who  is  in  oversight  of  the  Church 
at  Ephesus,  placed  in  oversight  through  certain  difficul- 
ties arising  there,  and  the  letter  of  the  apostle  is  writ- 
ten to  instruct  him  in  his  work.  I  am  inclined  to  think 
that  the  more  special  work  of  Timothy  was  that  of  the 
evangelist,  moving  from  place  to  place.  But  Paul  saw 
the  necessity  of  a  certain  oversight  at  Ephesus,  and 
sent  him  there.  And  he  writes  to  him  of  his  charge,  the 
church;  and  instructs  him  as  to  how  he  shall  take  over- 
sight; but  the  last  thing  the  apostle  urges  is  that  he 
shall  not  forget  that  though  he  is  now  in  oversight  of  the 
church  through  certain  ecclesiastical  difficulties,  he  is  to 
fulfill  his  ministry,  and  do  the  work  of  an  evangelist. 
It  is  at  least  significant  that  these  two  men  are  described 
by  the  term  evangelist,  the  one  moving  from  place  to 
place,  and  the  other  settled  in  oversight  of  a  church. 

Having  simply  referred  to  that  by  way  of  illustration, 
in  order  that  we  may  understand  that  the  evangelist 
m.ay  be  a  man  called  to  move  from  point  to  point,  or.  he 
may  be  a  man  placed  by  God  in  the  oversight  of  a  church, 
I  want  to  speak  of  this  gift  itself.  I  have  said  of  all 
these  gifts  that  they  are  spiritual  quantities  and  qualities. 
There  is  no  specific  description  in  the  New  Testament  of 


either  of  these  gifts  bestowed.  We  may  however  safely 
argue  from  the  work  the  nature  of  the  gift.  A  man  who 
receives  the /gift  of  the  evangeHst  is  one  to  v/hom  there 
is  given  a  clear  understanding  of  the  evangel,  a  great 
passion  in  his  heart  results  from  the  clear  vision,  a 
great  optimism  fills  his  soul,  born  of  his  confidence  in 
the  power  of  Christ  to  save  every  man;  and  growing 
out  of  that  passion  and  that  confidence  a  great  con- 
straint seizes  him  to  tell  somebody,  to  tell  everybody 
the  glad  news  of  salvation  by  Jesus  Christ.  Those  pecu- 
liar qualities  are  not  found  in  all  men  called  to  the 
ministry.  Every  man  will  have  sympathy  along  these 
lines.  There  are  however  other  forms  of  spiritual  gifts, 
as  we  have  seen.  But  where  this  is  the  all-consuming 
fire,  there  you  have  an  evangelist. 

Granted  that  a  man  has  the  gift,  on  what  line  is  he 
to  be  trained  for  the  exercise  thereof?  He  must  be 
trained  in  theory  and  in  practice,  and  the  training  of 
theory  and  practice  must  go  side  by  side  during  the  whole 
time  of  his  preparation  for  the  exercise  of  his  gift. 
Wherever  possible  I  would  give  a  man  the  profoundest 
and  fullest  academic  training  possible,  but  I  would  put 
each  theological  seminary  in,  or  not  far  from  a  great 
city,  and  I  would  send  the  theological,  students  down 
into  the  slums  to  teach  and  to  preach.  There  are  men 
advising  us  to  save  men  by  education,  and  the  latest 
thing  I  hear  suggested  is  salvation  by  psychology.  This 
kind  of  suggestion  is  however,  always  confined  to  the- 


ory  and  does  not  get  beyond  the  book  in  which  it  is 
discussed.  A  good  many  books  issue  from  the  press 
which  would  never  see  the  Hght  if  while  the  man  was 
thinking  out  his  problem  he  had  to  go  into  the  slum 
district  or  suburban  quarter  for  the  definite  business 
of  saving  men. 

A  man  must  be  trained,  but  the  man  who  has  this 
passion  must  exercise  it,  he  must  use  it.  A  man  who  has 
this  constraint  must  not  be  hindered  from  going  out  to  ex- 
ercise the  gift,  or  else  the  gift  within  him  will  burn 
down  to  cinders  and  ashes. 

While  exercising  his  gift,  let  him  be  trained  in  every 
way.  The  evangelist  ought  to  be  a  man,  a  whole  man,  a 
man  who  is  to  be  a  perfect  instrument  for  that  perfect 
Gospel  he  is  called  to  preach.  He  is  to  train  physically,  to 
train  mentally,  and  above  everything  else,  to  train  spir- 
itually. We  have  no  right  to  think  that  while  all  the 
other  vocations  of  life,  of  the  lawyer,  of  the  doctor,  of 
the  business  man,  demand  preparatory  hard  work  and 
training,  that  we  can  successfully  put  untrained  men 
into  the  work  of  the  ministry. 

If  God  takes  hold  of  a  man  He  has  called  to  the 
work,  and  it  is  really  impossible  for  him  to  obtain 
training,  and  he  becomes  a  veritable  flame  of  fire,  that 
is  no  reason  why  other  men  should  shirk  training,  and 
slip  carelessly  into  the  work  of  the  evangelist.  The 
very  magnificence  of  your  Gospel,  the  very  majesty 
of  your  work  demands  that  you  should  take  time,  take 


your  whole  being,  and  attempt  to  make  it  a  fit  instru- 
ment for  the  proclamation  of  the  great  Gospel.  I  would 
like  to  say  a  good  deal  about  physical  training.  If  a 
man  is  going  to  preach  this  evangel,  he  has  no  right  to 
trifle  with  his  physical  powers.  My  body  is  to  be  the 
temple  of  the  Holy  Ghost,  Who  through  me,  will  pro- 
claim this  evangel,  and  I  am  to  see  to  it  so  far  as  I  am 
able,  that  in  all  its  powers  it  is  an  instrument  fit  for  the 
Master's  work. 

And  so  with  the  mind.  Ignorance  is  not  a  qualification 
for  evangelism  My  dear  young  brother,  are  you  look- 
ing forward  to  an  evangelistic  ministry?  Then  I  plead 
with  you,  gird  up  the  loins  of  your  mind,  and  obtain 
all  the  knowledge  possible.  No  single  branch  of  knowl- 
edge is  out  of  place  to  the  man  who  is  going  to  do  the 
work  of  an  evangelist.  You  may  gather  illustrations 
from  all  sciences,  from  all  literature,  and  if  you  are  only 
living  close  to  the  centre,  and  close  to  Christ,  you  will 
see  light  gleaming  and  breaking  everywhere.  Don't 
hurry  through  training  in  order  to  do  this  work,  but 
while  the  training  goes  on,  let  there  be  exercise  al'. 
the  while,  and  through  the  process  you  will  gain  in 
strength,  and  become  presently  an  evangelist  proclaim- 
ing the  message  with  the  vigour  of  physical  strength, 
with  the  acumen  of  mental  equipment,  and  with  the 
dynamic  of  spiritual  force.  Such  are  the  men  for  whom 
the  world  waits  at  this  moment,  for  the  preaching  of  this 
great  Gospel  of  Jesus  Christ. 



Then  if  this  is  the  gift  and  the  training  of  the  evan- 
geHst,  what  is  his  work?  The  evangelist  is  to  go  forth 
and  preach  the  Lordship  of  Christ,  preach  Him  as  Lord 
until  men  in  the  presence  of  His  Lordship  become  con- 
scious of  their  own  failure.  Then  begins  the  great  com- 
mission of  declaring  to  them  that  by  His  Cross  salvation 
has  come  to  them,  that  all  they  are  not,  they  may  be, 
and  all  they  are,  they  need  not  be,  that  the  things 
they  would  not  be  but  are,  can  be  cancelled  in  blood, 
the  things  they  would  be,  but  are  not,  they  may  be  by 
life  in  the  Spirit.  Oh  this  is  a  great  message,  the  evan- 
gel of  the  Cross. 

But  is  the  proclamation  all  ?  By  no'  means !  The  evan- 
gelist must  constrain  men  to  obey.  There  must  be  that 
wonderful  wooing  note  that  breaks  men's  hearts,  and 
sweeps  them  to  Christ.  That  is  the  final  and  most  re- 
markable note  of  the  real  evangelist,  by  which  he  con- 
strains men.  Not  merely  the  declaration  of  the  evan- 
gel, not  merely  the  announcement  of  the  Lordship  of 
Christ,  and  the  declaration  of  the  Cross,  but  the  ability 
to  take  hold  of  men,  and  compel  them  to  Christ. 

Of  course  some  worldly  critic  will  call  this  personal 
magnetism.  That  however  is  not  all  the  truth.  It  is 
the  constraint  of  the  personality  of  Christ  through  the 
personality  of  the  consecrated  men  which  wins.  , 

Think  of  the  great  evangelists,  stern  men  very  often, 
and  yet  their  sternness  always  melted  into  tears.  Every 
great  evangelist  has  been  of  that  nature.    The  late  Robert 


W.  Dale  of  Birmingham,  England,  greatest  of  our  theo- 
logians said  to  me,  sitting  in  his  study  one  day,  "I  think 
I  have  only  known  one  evangelist  that  I  felt  had  the 
right  to  speak  of  a  lost  soul."  And  I  said,  "Who  was  it  ?" 
He  replied,  "It  was  D.  L.  Moody,  and  it  was  because  he 
never  spoke  of  the  possibility  of  a  man  being  lost  with- 
out tears  in  his  voice."  He  turned  from  fiery  denuncia- 
tion  of  sin  into  quiet  plaintive  tearful  heart-broken  con- 
straint.   It  is  the  great  equipment.    It  is  the  great  secret. 

If  all  this  be  true,  what  manner  of  man  is  the  evangelist 
to  be  in  his  own  character  ?  First  of  all  he  must  himself 
be  a  credential  of  the  Gospel  he  preaches.  It  is  no  use 
my  preaching  the  Lordship  of  Christ  unless  I  am  loyal  to 
Him.  I  may  eloquently  describe  His  Kingship,  I  may 
with  acumen  defend  Him  against  the  attacks  of  others; 
but  if  mj  life  is  not  loyal,  my  eloquence  is  sounding  brass, 
a  tinkling  cym.bal,  a  blasphemy  and  an  impertinence. 

And  the  man  who  preaches  the  Cross  must  be  a  cru- 
cified man.  You  may  preach  the  Cross  and  it  is  nothing 
but  a  Roman  gibbet  unless  you  preach  it  from  yourself. 
It  is  the  crucified  man  that  can  preach  the  Cross.  Said 
Thomas  "Except  I  shall  see  in  His  hands  the  print 
of  the  nails  ...  I  will  not  believe."  Dr.  Parker  of 
London  said  that  what  Thomas  said  of  Christ,  the  world 
is  saying  about  the  Church.  And  the  world  is  saying 
to  every  preacher :  Unless  I  see  in  your  hands  the  print 
of  the  nails  I  will  not  believe.  It  is  true.  It  is  the  man 
who  is  at  the  end  of  himself,  who  has  got  to  the  end  of 


reputation,  and  the  end  of  earthly  ambition,  the  man  who 
has  died  with  Christ,  he  it  is  that  can  preach  the  Cross 
of  Christ. 

And  yet  more.  Not  only  loyal  to  His  Lordship,  and 
not  only  realizing  the  power  of  His  Cross,  but  revealing 
the  glory  of  His  resurrection  in  a  life  rising  above  the 
things  of  this  life,  triumphing  every  day;  not  merely 
the  man  of  the  Cross,  but  the  man  of  the  Easter  morn- 
ing. Are  you,  dear  brother  mine,  preacher  of  the  evan- 
gel, are  you  an  Easter  morning  man  ?  It  is  not  the  Cross 
only.  It  is  the  Cross  and  resurrection.  Have  you  come 
to  resurrection  by  the  way  of  the  Cross  ?  Is  the  radiance 
of  its  glory  on  your  brow?  Is  the  song  of  an  assured 
victory  in  your  heart?  If  you  are  doubting,  you  cannot 
inspire  faith.  If  you  are  not  sure  how  this  thing  is  going 
to  turn  out,  no  one  will  be  persuaded.  You  must  be  the 
man  of  certainty,  a  man  on  the  resurrection  side  of  the 
grave,  the  old  life  behind.  You  remember  the  old  story 
of  a  boy  flying  his  kite.  He  could  not  see  it.  A  gentle- 
man passing  said  to  him,  "What  are  you  doing?''  "Flying 
my  kite."  "Oh  but,"  he  said,  "you  cannot  see  it."  "No, 
but  I  feel  its  pull."  It  is  the  man  who  feels  the  pull 
of  the  unseen  things  that  is  going  to  preach  this  Gospel, 
and  the  only  man  who  does  that  will  be  the  man  who  by 
the  way  of  the  Cross,  has  come  out  into  the  resurrection 

And  consequently  the  evangelist  is  a  man  not  only 
preaching  the  possibility  of  victory  by  the  indwelling 


Christ,  he  is  in  himself  truly  optimistic  in  the  power  of 
personal  realization  of  victory.  Pessimism  paralyzes 
power  in  evangelistic  preaching;  but  this  great  optim- 
ism of  the  indwelling  of  Christ  is  a  perpetual  power. 

And  all  this  means  the  necessity  for  unceasing  vigi- 
lance. The  man  who  is  to  be  an  evangelist,  the  voice 
of  the  Church,  proclaiming  the  glad  news,  how  zeal- 
ously and  jealously  he  must  guard  the  gift  committed  to 
him.  What  personal  examination  and  correction  are 
necessary  if  this  work  is  to  be  perfectly  done.  Oh  the 
subtle  and  insidious  foes  of  the  minister,  sloth,  ambition, 
pride,  distraction,  these  are  the  things  that  spoil  us.  My 
brothers,  how  we  must  guard  against  them.  How  the 
evangelist  needs  to  live  in  perpetual  fellowship  with  God. 
How  he  needs  earnestly  to  devote  himself  to  the  hard- 
working, brain-sweating  study  of  his  message.  And  how 
the  evangelist  needs  to  be  perpetually  on  the  watch  for 

Let  me  gather  up  and  conclude.  Sympathy  with  the 
evangelist  is  in  every  man  gifted  by  the  Spirit,  though 
all  may  not  have  the  specific  gift.  The  varieties  create 
the  harmonies.  Harmony  is  a  concord  of  differences. 
So  whether  you  have  that  specific  gift  or  no,  you  have 
sympathy  with  it  if  you  are  Christ's  own  minister.  At 
least  keep  that  sympathy  alive  and  warm.  Don't  let 
anything  freeze  it  out,  paralyze  it. 

My  special  word  is  to  you,  my  brothers,  perhaps  to  a 
few  only,  whom  God  has  called  to  this  special  work. 


Let  your  spirit  be  carefully  guarded.  And  yet  more 
strongly  let  me  say  that  you  as  a  witness  in  the  Church, 
having  the  gift  of  the  evangelist,  ought  to  be  able  to  in- 
spire everyone  you  meet,  men  and  women  in  your  Church, 
with  the  sympathy  and  passion  that  consumes  you.  That 
is  your  first  and  greatest  work  even  as  an  evangelist. 

And  as  there  is  no  calling  more  wonderful  than  that 
of  the  evangelist,  therefore  none  demands  more  in  cost 
and  in  toil. 

And  now  this  final  word  to  those  in  whose  hearts  there 
burns  the  sympathy.  By  your  prayer,  by  your  co-opera- 
tion, by  your  determined  attempt  to  sweep  everything 
out  of  the  highway,  help  these  men  who  are  called  and 
gifted  for  the  proclamation  of  the  message.  And  if  in 
the  pastor  of  your  church  you  have  discovered  a  man 
in  whose  heart  there  is  this  great  passion  and  constraint, 
driving  him  to  win  souls,  oh,  I  beseech  you,  don't  hinder 
him,  don't  bind  him,  don't  prevent  him,  don't  demand  that 
he  shall  put  that  which  is  a  gift  of  evangelism  into  its 
wrong  use  of  taking  care  of  you,  but  rather  in  your 
co-operation  with  him,  catch  the  same  spirit,  carry  on 
the  same  great  glorious  work.  Thus  all  of  us  in  measure, 
while  some  by  specific  equipment,  may  be  evangelists  of 
the  Cross. 



This  is  the  phase  of  our  subject  which  personally  I 
should  prefer  to  omit.  I  freely  confess  to  a  fear  of  the 
study  of  methods.  I  am  well  aware  that  such  a  study 
is  necessary,  but  I  am  always  a  little  afraid  lest  we 
should  attempt  to  press  into  some  ready-made  method, 
the  infinite  Spirit  of  God.  "The  wind  bloweth  where  it 
will,  and  thou  hearest  the  voice  thereof,  but  knowest 
not  whence  it  cometh,  and  whither  it  goeth,  so  is  every 
one  that  is  born  of  the  Spirit."  These  words  of  our 
Master  have  very  wide  application.  They  indicate  the 
spontaneity  of  the  work  of  the  Spirit.  No  man  can  tell 
whence  the  wind  cometh,  or  whither  it  goeth.  No  man 
can  foretell  the  line  along  which  the  Spirit  of  God  will 
operate  toward  the  accomplishment  of  the  Divine 
purpose.  It  is  nevertheless  true  that  no  man  will  make 
the  wind  his  servant  save  as  he  learns  the  true  method 
of  answering  its  law.  The  wind  bloweth  where  it  will, 
but  if  I  want  the  wind  to  be  my  servant,  and  propel 
my  boat  across  the  sea    I  must  know  how  to  construct 



my  boat  and  my  sail  to  catch  the  wind.  And  so  while 
the  Spirit  of  God  is  the  one  Worker,  without  whom 
nothing  can  be  done  along  the  line  of  true  evangelism, 
it  is  nevertheless  true  that  it  is  important  that  we  should 
discover  those  methods  with  which  He  works  most 
easily  and  naturally,  and  in  proportion  as  we  do  this 
we  shall  be  able  to  co-operate  with  Him  in  all  His 
great  work  and  purpose. 

In  dealing  with  the  conduct  of  an  evangelistic  service, 
it  must  be  distinctly  understood  that  I  would  not  at- 
tempt to  compel  every  man  to  use  one  method,  and 
above  all,  I  would  not  attempt  to  suggest  that  I  have 
discovered  the  final  or  best  method  by  which  the  Spirit 
may  work. 

I  want  to  speak  first  of  all  of  the  place  of  evangelistic 
services  in  the  course  of  the  regular  ministry,  and  then 
of  the  work  of  evangelism  at  special  seasons  in  the 
life  of  a  church  or  community. 

The  presence  in  our  congregations  of  those  not  ac- 
tually and  personally  submitted  to  Christ,  must  always 
create  the  necessity  for  such  service.  Nothing  can  be 
more  paralyzing  to  the  life  of  a  minister  himself,  or 
to  the  congregations  that  assemble  regularly  to  hear 
him  as  he  preaches  the  word,  than  that  he  should  come 
to  think,  or  should  so  preach  as  to  make  his  people 
think,  that  definite  decision  for  Christ  is  not  import- 
ant in  every  individual  life.  There  is  a  very  great  peril 
along  that  line  to  all  of  us  in  the  work  of  the  regular 


ministry.  I  am  very  thankful  to  be  able  to  speak  to 
you  from  the  standpoint  of  twelve  years'  experience  in 
the  settled  work  of  the  ministry.  I  know  exactly  what 
it  is  to  face  a  congregation  Sabbath  after  Sabbath.  There 
is  nothing  more  full  of  delight  than  that  kind  of  work,  but 
there  is  a  danger  that  we  take  too  much  for  granted 
about  the  people  to  whom  we  preach,  and  if  we  are  not 
careful  we  shall  drift  into  the  opinion  that  because  these 
people  are  attending  services,  therefore  there  is  no  need 
for  the  direct  appeal  of  the  evangel  to  be  made  to  them. 
We  must  ever  remember  that  it  is  necessary  that  every  in- 
dividual person  should  come  into  personal  relationship 
with  Jesus  Christ.  We  must  remember  that  no  child 
is  born  a  Christian.  That  is  not  for  one  single  moment 
to  enter  into  any  discussion  as  to  the  question  whether 
or  no  the  children  of  Christian  people  are  born  within 
a  covenant.  I  believe  they  are,  but  they  are  not  born 
Christians;  and  whereas  I  very  strongly  hold, — and  my 
own  life's  experience  is  the  most  remarkable  testi- 
mony to  the  truth  of  the  fact, — that  where  a  child  is 
born  of  Christian  parents,  and  is  trained  in  a  Christian 
home,  the  actual  acceptance  of  Jesus  Christ  as  Lord  by 
that  child  is  likely  to  be  natural  and  simple,  without 
revulsion,  without  earthquake  shock,  soft  as  the  kiss  of 
morning  on  the  brow  of  Nature,  sweet  as  the  passing 
zephyr  over  the  fields  of  flowers,  yet  there  must  be  def- 
inite submission,  and  no  child  because  born  of  Chris- 
tian parents,  is  therefore  a  Christian.    In  all  our  preach- 


ing  we  need  to  remember  that  the  dear  children  of  our 
own  members,  coming  with  them  to  worship — and  there 
is  no  fairer  sight  to  my  own  eyes  than  that  of  seeing 
father  and  mother  and  children  sitting  before  me  Sab- 
bath after  Sabbath — must  each  one  for  himself  and 
herself,  at  some  age  of  understanding  and  discretion, 
yield  their  own  life  to  Jesus  Christ,  or  else  they  can 
never  be  Christians. 

Now  with  that  conviction  in  the  heart  of  the  minis- 
ter, he  will  at  once  see  how  there  must  be  in  his  preaching, 
even  though  he  be  a  pastor  and  teacher  principally,  a 
desire  for  the  salvation  of  these,  and  there  must  be  oc- 
casionally some  message,  some  appeal,  some  opportu- 
nity given  to  those  who  sit  under  his  ministry,  to  make 
an  immediate  decision  and  a  definite  confession  of  Jesus 

No  man  can  have  as  the  burden  of  his  preaching 
the  Lordship  of  Christ,  whether  the  special  quality  be 
that  of  the  prophet,  or  that  of  the  evangelist,  or  that  of 
the  pastor  and  teacher,  without  bringing  to  the  con- 
sciences of  those  who  hear  him  a  conviction  of  sin. 
In  the  first  of  these  lectures  I  laid  special  emphasis 
upon  the  first  note  of  the  evangel,  the  Lordship  of 
Christ.  It  is  the  great  theme  of  preaching.  It  is  the 
message  of  the  prophet  to  his  age.  It  is  the  message  of 
the  evangelist  to  the  individual.  It  is  the  message  of  the 
pastor  and  teacher,  to  his  people.  The  prophet  pro- 
claims that  Jesus  is  Lord  over  all  the  affairs  of  men. 

The  evangelist  proclaims  that  Jesus  is  Lord  in  the  realm 
of  the  salvation  of  the  individual.  The  pastor  and  teacher 
insists  upon  the  Lordship  of  Christ  in  the  actual  life 
of  the  believer.  And  no  man  can  preach  that  Lordship 
in  all  the  spaciousness  of  its  meaning,  without  those 
who  hear  him  coming  into  the  consciousness  of  sin. 

Now  wherever  as  the  result  of  the  preaching  of  the 
Lordship  of  Christ,  conviction  of  sin  results  in  the  con- 
sciences of  those  who  hear,  there  at  once  is  created 
the  necessity  for  the  proclamation  of  the  way  of  sal- 
vation, or  in  other  words,  there  is  the  opportunity  for 
the  evangehstic  service. 

Therefore  1  submit  that  the  minister  of  Jesus  Christ 
ought  occasionally  to  hold  meetings  where  he  urges  im- 
mediate decision,  and  gives  the  opportunity  for  the 
same.  We  must  not  be  led  astray  from  the  essential 
work  of  the  Christian  ministry  by  imagining  we  have 
some  gift  which  liberates  us  from  responsibility  about 
the  decision  of  the  men  and  women  who  listen  to  us. 
There  is  no  gift  that  does  not  include  within  it  some- 
thing of  the  evangehstic  necessity,  of  urging  the  claim 
of  Christ  upon  individuals.  I  hold  no  regular  ministry 
is  complete  in  which  there  is  never  an  opportunity  for 
immediate  decision  on  the  part  of  those  who  are 
brought  into  contact  with  the  fact  of  the  Lordship  of 
Christ,  and  who  hear  the  evangel  of  salvation. 

As  to  time  and  season,  my  own  conviction  is  that  in 
the  work  of  the  regular  ministry  in  the  vast  majority 


of  cases  it  is  not  wise  to  decide  that  on  every  Sunday 
night  there  shall  be  an  evangelistic  service.  There  are 
exceptions  to  this  rule.  The  local  circumstances  must 
always  decide.  In  the  Moody  church  of  Chicago,  where 
Sunday  by  Sunday  there  is  gathered  together  a  promis- 
cuous crowd,  no  Sabbath  evening  passes  without  an 
evangelistic  appeal,  and  without  decisions  for  Christ. 
Some  persons  imagine  that  because  it  is  done  there, 
it  ought  to  be  so  everywhere.  That  by  no  means  fol- 
lows. Neither  do  I  think  it  wise  to  hold  an  evangelistic 
service  at  stated  intervals.  That  is  too  mechanical  an 
arrangement.  The  pastor  who  is  living  in  fellowship 
with  the  Spirit  of  God,  and  who  is  seeking  to  receive 
his  messages  direct  from  God,  will  discover  when  the 
moment  has  come  in  which  he  must  declare  the  evangel, 
and  make  his  appeal.  That  is  the  occasion  for  the 
evangelistic  service.  If  I  may  refer  to  my  own  experience 
as  a  pastor,  I  have  gone  on  from  Sunday  to  Sunday, 
sometimes  for  one  or  two  months  with  an  evangelistic 
service  after  each  evening  service.  On  the  other  hand 
there  have  been  periods  when  only  once  in  the  month 
or  perhaps  twice,  such  services  have  been  held,  and 
sometimes  months  would  pass  with  no  such  service. 
I  never  went  to  my  pulpit  knowing  whether  I  would 
have  such  a  service  or  not.  I  went  with  a  burden  and 
a  message;,  and  having  endeavoured  to  lead  and  train 
my  church  in  co-operation  with  me,  they  were  never 
surprised  if  I  had  an  after-meeting.    If  I  did  hold  one, 


I  found  my  officers  and  workers  ready  to  do  the  nec- 
essary work.  There  are  a  thousand  men  who  have 
not  the  specific  gift  of  the  evangeHst,  who  yet  are  able 
to  do  evangelistic  work  occasionally  as  opportunity  oc- 
curs. There  are  a  thousand  men  who  have  not  the 
particular  quality  that  draws  to  their  church  the  pro- 
miscuous and  large  multitude,  but  who  nevertheless,  are  in 
the  ministry  by  the  gift  and  appointment  of  God,  and  their 
special  work  will  be  that  of  preaching  regularly  to  a 
congregation  composed  very  largely  of  the  same  people, 
but  into  which  strangers  will  constantly  be  coming. 
There  is  no  congregation  made  up  of  saints,  conse- 
quently there  will  be  in  all  congregations  an  element  of 
those  interested  but  not  submitted,  and  the  minister 
must  ever  have  on  his  heart  the  burden  of  such  people. 
A  great  many  ministers  say  to  me,  We  don't  feel  we 
can  conduct  evangelistic  services  like  that.  How  shall 
we  do  it?  First  of  all  by  the  use  of  your  natural  en- 
dowments. There  are  men  who  have  remarkable  pow- 
ers of  persuasion  at  an  election,  who  yet  say  they  can- 
not urge  men  to  decision  for  Christ.  If  you  have  in- 
fluenced a  man  to  vote  as  he  ought  to  vote  for  the 
good  of  the  country,  you  should  be  able  to  win  a  man 
for  Christ.  A  man  in  the  ministry  of  Jesus  Christ, 
whose  heart  has  been  touched  with  the  Spirit  of  God, 
must  feel  the  compassion  of  the  heart  of  Christ  towards 
men,  and  must  feel  the  winning  and  drawing  power 
of  the  Christ  over  men.    If  a  minister  have  no  compas- 


sion  for  men,  no  yearning  for  souls,  no  knowledge  ol 
Y     what  it  is  to  travail  in  birth  for  the  souls  of  men,  he 

f  should  search  his  own  heart  and  life,  and  see  what  it 
means,  for  there  must  be  something  wrong  between  him 
and  his  Lord,  or  that  compassion  and  power  of  con- 
straint would  most  certainly  be  there. 

As  to  the  conduct  of  an  after-meeting.  The  first  thing 
necessary  is  that  the  minister  should  preach  so  as  to 
make  one  necessary.  It  is  no  use  conducting  an  after- 
meeting  after  any  sort  of  preaching.  If  decision  has 
been  urged  in  the  preaching,  then  I  cannot  help  think- 
ing that  if  in  the  power  of  the  Spirit  an  appeal  be  made 
for  immediate  response,  it  will  be  realized.  fTwo  or 
three  years  ago  it  was  my  privilege  to  take  part  in 
the  simultaneous  mission  arranged  for  by  the  Free 
Church  Council  of  England.  Some  people  will  tell 
you  thar  mission  was  a  failure.  That  is  only  partially 
true.  I  am  quite  prepared  to  admit  that  it  did  not  suc- 
ceed in  any  large  extent,  in  reaching  the  vast  masses  of  the 
unchurched  people.  There  were  exceptions  of  course, 
but  both  in  London  and  the  provinces  there  were  whole 
regions,  residential  regions  very  often,  as  well  as  slum 
regions,  which  were  hardly  touched  at  all.  But  the 
[  movement  was  a  glorious  success  in  that  it  aroused 
jj     in  the  hearts  of  hundreds  of  pastors  an  interest  in  evan- 

f(  gelistic  work,  and  turned  them  to  evangelism  in  their 
own  churches.  The  provincial  mission  which  I  conduc- 
ted was  held  in  the  Town  Hall  of  the  city.    There  were 

united  in  that  mission  all  the  Free  Churches.  God 
greatly  blessed  the  services,  and  many  were  brought 
to  Christ.  The  last  meeting  I  held  was  with  the  minis- 
ters, a  conference  in  which  they  asked  what  they  could 
do  to  take  up  and  carry  on  the  work.  I  suggested  that 
on  the  next  Sunday  night  every  man,  whether  he  had 
ever  done  so  before  or  not,  should  preach  to  his  own 
congregation  with  the  distinctive  and  avowed  purpose 
of  persuading  many  of  them  whom  he  loved,  but  who 
as  yet  had  not  yielded  to  Christ,  to  yield  to  Him  at  once. 
To  this  they  agreed,  and  on  that  next  Sunday  night 
every  minister  preached  to  his  own  people  an  evangel- 
istic sermon,  held  an  after-meeting,  and  through  all  the 
city  men  and  women  were  saved.  I  believe  that  every 
minister  who  would  prayerfully  hold  such  a  service  in 
his  own  church,  and  among  his  own  people,  would  have 
actual  and  definite  results. 

Now  as  to  evangelistic  services  at  special  seasons. 
Such  seasons  may  arise  in  some  individual  church,  or 
in  some  union  movement  among  the  churches.  I  do 
not  propose  now  to  discuss  the  union  movements.  I 
am  not  discrediting  them.  I  thank  God  for  all  of  them 
which  are  so  much  blessed  in  my  own  country,  and 
in  this.  For  the  splendid  work  being  done  by  Dr.  Tor- 
rey  and  Mr.  Alexander  I  thank  God  perpetually.  But 
what  I  am  principally  interested  in  is  a  new  devotion 
to  evangelistic  work  in  our  churches,  and  consequently 
I  want  to  confine  myself  very  largely  to  the  special  mis- 


sion  of  evangelism  in  the  church.  In  the  work  of  a 
faithful  ministry  there  will  come  special  seasons  when 
the  minister  and  office  bearers  alike  will  have  borne 
in  upon  them  the  conviction  that  the  time  is  ripe  for 
harvest.  The  movement  may  begin  with  some  woman 
who  prays,  and  keeps  on  praying  quietly  and  alone, 
making  no  talk  about  it,  until  a  conviction  that  God 
is  beginning  to  .work  takes  possession  of  the  whole 
church.  That  is  the  occasion  for  the  work  of  the  special 
evangehst.  Very  many  feel  that  the  minister  himself 
is  the  true  man  for  the  work.  It  may  be  so  in  some 
instances,  but  it  is  more  fitting  In  the  majority  of  cases 
that  the  minister  should  seek  for  some  man  to  co-op- 
erate with  him,  whose  gift  is  specifically  that  of  the 

Now  as  to  method  and  management.  When  the 
church  is  conscious  of  imminent  Divine  visitation  there 
must  be  the  most  careful  and  watchful  preparation.  It 
should  begin  in  the  gathering  together  of  the  church  for 
united  prayer.  I  think  that  when  the  church  is  conscious  of 
Divine  visitation,  of  the  movement  of  the  Spirit  of  God, 
there  need  be  no  indecent  hurry.  Nothing  is  lost  by  a 
time  of  waiting,  during  which  the  church  is  gathered 
together  for  solemn  preparation  by  consecration  and  in- 
tercession. Then  there  must  be  systematic  preparation 
as  to  the  needs  of  the  whole  neighbourhood.  If  a  church 
in  a  district  or  neighbourhood  is  going  to  hold  a  series 
of  special  meetings,  that  is  the  moment  in  which  that 


church  stretches  out  In  actual  endeavour  to  reach  the 
whole  neighbourhood.  Every  house  in  the  neighbour- 
hood will  receive  invitations  to  the  services,  and  it  will 
be  seen  that  an  invitation  shall  reach  every  person,  not 
once  or  twice,  but  a  dozen  times  before  the  services  be- 
gin. That  is  Very  detailed  and  technical  I  know,  but  it 
is  along  such  lines  of  hard  work,  and  consecrated  prayer- 
ful preparation  that  the  greatest  blessings  have  come 
to  services  held  in  connection  with  individual  churches. 
During  the  course  of  the  meetings  every  member  of 
the  church  should  be  a  worker.  It  may  be  urged  that 
that  is  a  counsel  of  perfection  which  can  never  be  car- 
ried out.  At  least  let  it  he  a  counsel  of  perfection,  and 
let  every  church  attempt  to  realize  it.  It  may  be  ob- 
jected that  it  is  not  necessary  that  every  church  member 
should  be  a  worker.  And  yet  nothing  is  more  import- 
ant. There  are  many  kinds  of  workers  wanted  in  con- 
nection with  evangelistic  meetings,  house-to-house  visit- 
ors; Christian  men  and  women  in  the  choir  to  sing 
the  Gospel ;  Christian  men  as  ushers ;  specially  trained 
and  qualified  enquiry  room  workers;  and  beyond  all 
these,  a  band  of  men  and  women,  who  unable  to  help 
in  any  of  the  ways  indicated,  shall  labour  together  with 
the  rest,  in  earnest  pleading  prayer.  The  church  mem- 
bership should  be  called  together,  and  the  burden  of 
this  matter  laid  upon  them  in  the  spirit  of  prayer.  Then 
let  arrangements  be  made.  Finding  out  what  each  is 
fitted  for,  allot  "to  every  man  his  work." 


The  importance  of  house-to-house  visitation  is  very 
great.  Let  the  visitation  be  courteous  and  kind,  and  yet 
insistent  as  to  the  claims  of  Jesus  Christ,  devoid  of 
arrogance,  but  characterized  by  a  winning  courteous 
manner.  Let  that  be  done  time  after  time,  until  it 
shall  be  impossible  for  any  human  being  in  the  neigh- 
bourhood of  the  church  to  say  ''no  man  careth  for  my 

As  to  the  singing.  If  there  is  one  thing  not  wanted 
in  evangelistic  work  it  is  a  number  of  unconverted  men 
and  women  to  lead  the  singing.  Christian  men  and 
women  are  needed,  who  in  all  their  singing  show  the 
tender  and  matchless  power  of  Jesus  Christ,  and  they 
should  be  gathered  out  of  the  church. 

Then  as  to  the  stewards  and  ushers.  Are  we  not 
sometimes  a  little  in  danger  of  forgetting  the  import- 
ance of  them  ?  The  way  a  man  is  met  at  the  door  and 
shown  to  his  chair,  may  decide  him  for  or  against  God. 
The  way  a  man  is  welcomed  or  repulsed  may  attract 
him  to  Christ  or  drive  him  from  Christ.  In  all  such 
special  services  there  should  be  the  greatest  care  taken 
that  those  attending  should  be  welcomed  by  those  who 
manifest  the  love  of  Christ.  You  may  have  all  your 
angular,  peculiar,  crochetty  sidesmen  when  the  church 
only  is  there,  but  you  want  the  men  of  gracious  strength, 
and  tender  heart,  and  loving  welcome,  and  genial  face, 
and  sweet  Christian  hfe  to  welcome  men  into  the  house 

T'HH    BVANGBLISTIC    SHRVICU.         75 

of  God  when  you  are  going  to  urge  them  to  decision  for 
Jesus  Christ. 

And  finally  the  enquiry  room  workers.  Let  me  ut- 
ter here  a  solemn  word  of  warning.  Make  your  enquiry 
room  secure  against  the  intrusion  of  any  person  un- 
known. Let  anybody  have  the  right  to  enter  the  en- 
quiry room,  and  all  the  fads  and  fanatics  of  the  district 
will  be  there  first.  I  was  jealously,  zealously  careful 
to  guard  my  enquiry  room  against  the  intrusion  of  any 
person  not  known  to  myself.  That  means  there  must 
be  preparation  by  the  minister  of  his  workers,  and  there 
ought  to  be  an  enquiry  room  class  in  which  he  shall 
meet  a  chosen  band  and  instruct  them  in  the  method 
of  dealing  with  souls.  These  need  appointing  and  ar- 
ranging for  with  great  wisdom  and  care. 

If  the  membership  is  not  exhausted  by  these  appoint- 
ments, then  all  the  rest  can  pray.  I  am  greatly  im- 
pressed today  as  I  meet  with  men  whom  God  is  using, 
and  find  their  experience  coinciding  so  closely  with  my 
own.  I  crave  today  more  than  I  ever  did  in  my  life, 
with  a  greater  longing  than  I  ever  felt,  to  know  that 
men  and  women  are  praying  for  me.  In  New  York 
recently  three  men  came  to  me,  and  these  three  men 
looked  into  my  face  and  said,  "For  five  years  we  three 
have  prayed  for  you  every  day  by  solemn  covenant.'' 
I  cannot  tell  you  what  it  meant  to  me.  If  our  evan- 
gelistic work  is  going  to  be  a  success  we  must  get  our 


people  regularly  and  systematically  to  pray.  Epaphras 
agonized  in  prayer.  Now  it  is  not  given  to  everyone 
to  spend  long  hours  in  prayer.  Thank  God  for  the 
men  and  women  who  can  do  it.  God  does  not  mean 
everybody  should  do  that.  But  we  can  form  the  habit 
of  prayer,  so  that  we  can  pray  here,  there,  anywhere, 
everywhere.  I^et  the  members  band  themselves  to- 
gether to  pray.  It  has  often  been  pointed  out  that  it 
is  a  remarkable  thing  that  when  Paul  preached  on 
Mar's  Hill,  there  were  few  if  any  converts,  but  when 
Peter  preached  on  the  day  of  Pentecost  thousands  were 
swept  into  the  Kingdom  of  God;  and  it  is  an  interest- 
ing question  why  in  the  one  case  so  few,  and  in  the 
other  so  many  were  attracted  and  influenced.  No  one 
;would  like  to  suggest  that  Peter  was  more  abandoned  to 
God  than  Paul.  Peter  preached  in  the  midst  of  a  com- 
pany of  praying  men  and  women,  and  Paul  did  not. 
And  account  for  it  as  you  will,  go  into  the  mystery 
and  philosophy  of  it  as  you  will,  the  fact  remains  that 
the  Holy  Spirit  of  God  works  more  easily  in  the  at- 
mosphere of  praying  men  and  women  than  without 

Then  the  combined  business  acumen  of  the  church 
members  should  be  consecrated  to  this  work.  Oh, 
when  will  all  the  business  ability  in  the  church  be  conse- 
crated to  the  work  of  the  Church?  Some  men  think 
that  they  need  their  business  ability  for  their  business, 
and  that  it  is  enough  to  give  a  check  to  the  church.    If 


a,  man  is  offering  for  sale  something  that  he  wants  to 
make  profit  out  of  for  himself,  he  will  push  it  in  front 
of  your  eyes  wherever  you  go.  I  cannot  travel  any 
distance  without  seeing  the  virtues  of  some  soap  ex- 
tolled under  my  eyes  wherever  I  look.  If  I  could  only 
get  hold  of  the  business  acumen,  and  turn  it  into  ac- 
count for  the  Kingdom  of  God. 

I  don't  g(iite  like  the  comparison,  but  I  am  going  to 
use  it.  When  the  Church  begins  to  run  the  business 
of  Jesus  Christ  like  the  world  runs  the  business  of  sell- 
ing soap,  we  shall  do  something.  I  will  tell  you  a  story 
out  of  my  own  experience.  I  went  at  one  time  to  con- 
duct a  series  of  special  services  in  a  district  in  England. 
I  was  to  be  there  for  two  weeks.  One  of  the  officers 
wrote  to  me  just  before  I  went,  and  he  said,  "Our 
chapel  has  been  renovated,  and  very  beautifully  ren- 
ovated, and  we  are  afraid  the  crowds  may  spoil  it, 
and  we  are  going  to  have  the  services  only  for  one 
week."  Oh,  the  shame  of  it!  The  preservation  of 
paint  of  more  importance  than  the  salvation  of  souls! 
Let  the  business  men  of  the  Church  recognize  that 
they  are  in  business  partnership  with  Jesus  Christ,  and 
let  them  apply  all  the  push  and  go  which  they  use  in 
their  own  business  to  the  business  of  the  Kingdom. 
That  should  be  so  always,  but  specially  in  the  time  of 
the  special  mission.  Such  preparation  is  mechanical, 
but  it  is  the  mechanism  through  which  the  Holy  Spirit 
of  God  may  do  His  work.    The  work  of  the  evangelistic 


mission  in  our  churches  first  demands  all  our  conse- 
crated endeavour.  If  we  attempt  to  do  it  in  any  other 
way,  we  shall  fail  as  we  deserve  to  do.  If  for  instance 
we  say  we  will  hold  some  special  services,  and  then  is- 
sue two  hundred  and  fifty  bills,  four  inches  square, 
and  open  the  doors  and  imagine  we  have  done  every- 
thing, we  are  demonstrating  our  unbelief  in  our  own 
enterprise,  and  the  world  is  very  apt  to  measure  the 
importance  of  those  things  by  the  standard  of  the 
Church's  estimate  of  their  value. 

We  must  put  into  the  work  of  saving  men  and  women 
sinew  and  brain,  and  muscle,  and  blood,  and  then  we 
shall  begin  to  move  the  world. 

Finally  I  want  to  say  something  as  to  the  actual 
/conduct  of  an  evangelistic  service,  whether  it  be  the 
occasional  service  in  the  regular  work  of  the  pastorate, 
or  whether  in  the  special  series. 

In  an  evangelistic  service  the  whole  conduct  of  the 
service  must  be  conducive  to  the  one  business  of  win- 
ning men.  I  begin  with  the  smaller  matters  first.  The 
physical  conditions  must  be  remembered.  The  build- 
ing in  which  the  evangelistic  service  is  to  be  held  must 
be  one  in  which  it  is  possible  for  people  to  be  physi- 
cally comfortable. 

There  was  a  good  man  in  Sheffield,  England,  named 
Tom  Graham,  remarkable  in  his  success  in  winning 
souls,  who  used  to  say  something  not  elegant  in  ex- 
pression, but  perpetually  true,  "I  never  knew  a  man 


saved  with  cold  feet."  It  is  of  prime  importance  that 
.we  attend  to  the  physical  conditions.  The  building  must 
be  such  as  people  can  at  least  be  comfortable  in,  and  by 
being  comfortable  forget  the  physical  and  attend  to 
the  spiritual.  As  long  as  a  man  is  conscious  of  the 
physical  it  is  very  hard  for  him  to  attend  to  the  spiritual. 
The  building  must  be  properly  warmed  and  ventilated. 
The  physical  conditions  must  be  of  the  best. 

The  next  point  of  importance  is  that  those  who  enter 
the  building  to  an  evangelistic  service  should  be  wel- 
comed. The  caretaker  and  the  ushers  must  be  chosen 
>vith  great  care  if  this  is  to  be  so.  Then  accommoda- 
tion must  be  provided,  and  so  far  as  possible  those 
coming  must  be  courteously  seated,  and  attended  to. 
We  must  in  love  make  men  feel  that  they  are  more 
welcome  to  this  service  than  they  ever  were  in  a  saloon 
or  theatre. 

Then  further  in  the  evangelistic  service  the  general 
tone  of  the  proceedings  should  be  carefully  guarded. 
There  should  be  an  absence  of  merely  stilted  dignity 
on  the  part  of  the  minister  and  the  office  bearers  of 
the  church.  D.  L.  Moody  once  said  that  dignity  was 
not  one  of  the  fruits  of  the  Spirit  anyhow.  If  a  poor 
man  comes  into  the  church  and  is  patronized,  the  chances 
of  winning  him  are  greatly  reduced.  And  yet  the  tone 
should  not  only  be  free  from  stilted  dignity,  it  should 
be  free  from  all  undue  frivolity.  Nothing  should  be 
done  by  speaker,  singer,  or  anyone  else  for  the  sake  of 


simply  raising  a  laugh.  I  am  sorry  for  the  man  who 
lacks  a  sense  of  humour,  but  humour  should  be  the 
play  of  summer  Hghtning,  clearing  the  air,  and  not 
the  degradation  of  the  pulpit  into  an  entertainment, 
in  which  the  main  object  is  to  make  people  laugh. 

The  tone  should  be  that  of  a  reverent  gladness,  the 
hymns  pulsating  with  hope,  the  attitude  of  every  man 
taking  part  in  the  work  that  of  one  who  believes  in 
God,  and  in  the  possibilities  of  the  man  that  has  come 
in.  Reverent  and  hopeful  in  all  things  let  the  true 
evangelistic  service  be. 

And  once  again.  The  whole  of  the  service  in  the 
hands  of  the  evangelist  should  conduce  to  the  one  mat- 
ter in  hand,  of  winning  men  for  Christ,  the  singing,  the 
Scripture,  and  prayer,  and  the  sermon.  I  do  not  be- 
lieve that  it  is  wise  in  an  evangelistic  service  that  the 
evangelist  should  hand  the  conduct  of  the  singing  over 
to  any  second  man.  In  the  actual  service  he  should 
select  his  own  hymns,  such  as  will  lead  up  to  his  sub- 
ject, and  such  as  will  appeal  to  the  people  on  the  line 
thereof.  I  would  have  half  an  hour's  singing  before 
the  service  proper  begins,  under  the  charge  of  the  di- 
rector, but  the  moment  I  come  to  the  platform  as  the 
evangelist,  I  want  to  select  my  own  hymns.  I  don't 
want  a  hymn  sung  absolutely  out  of  harmony  with 
anything  I  am  going  to  say.  There  needs  to  be  this 
harmony.  So  also  with  the  matter  of  the  Scripture 
reading.     So  also  with  the  prayer  prayed.     An  evan- 


gelist  will  be  very  careful  about  whom  he  asks  to 
pray.  It  is  a  great  mistake  to  take  hold  of  the  Rev. 
Mr.  So  and  So,  who  does  not  believe  in  evangelistic 
meetings,  and  get  him  to  lead  in  prayer  in  order  to 
enlist  his  sympathy.  I  don't  want  to  do  him  good 
just  now.  I  am  after  this  sinner  here,  and  I  want  the 
man  to  pray  who  knows  the  way  into  the  secret  place, 
who  knows  how  to  get  at  the  heart  of  God.  All  these 
things  are  important.  I  do  not  think  we  can  afford  to 
miss  a  single  detail. 

And  as  to  the  sermon.  In  an  evangelistic  service 
it  must  be  one  aimed  at  the  capture  of  the  will  for 
Jesus  Christ.  Different  congregations  will  demand  dif- 
ferent methods.  One  method  of  presenting  truth  will 
appeal  to  one  class  of  the  community,  and  quite  another 
method  will  be  necessary  for  another  class.  Thomas 
Chapness  says  that  the  most  remarkable  text  on  how  to 
be  a  soul  winner  is  the  text,  "I  will  make  you  fishers  of 
men."  I  once  heard  him  speak  on  that  text,  and  in  the 
course  of  his  sermon  he  said,  'A  fisher  is  very  careful 
about  his  bait.  If  I  want  to  catch  a  codfish,  I  fling  them 
out  a  bait  as  big  as  a  clock  weight,  and  they  swallow  it. 
But  if  I  am  going  for  salmon  I  have  a  fly,  and  whip 
the  stream  with  delicacy  and  art.'  There  are  some 
preachers  who  will  appeal  along  the  line  of  the  intel- 
lect and  reason.  There  are  men  caught  on  the  flood 
tide  of  emotion.  But  back  of  the  intellect  and  emo- 
tion is  the  citadel,  the  will,  and  it  is  for  that  the  preacher 


strives.  Whether  he  captures  the  will  through  the  intel- 
lect or  through  the  emotion  depends  upon  the  persons 
addressed  and  on  the  preacher;  but  the  supreme  busi- 
ness is  to  appeal  to  the  will,  and  to  bring  it  into  submis- 
sion to  the  Lordship  of  Christ.  The  business  of  the 
evangelist  is  to  get  a  verdict  for  Jesus  Christ  there 
and  then.  To  the  realization  of  that  everything  else  must 
therefore  be  subservient  in  the  sermon.  The  preacher's 
literary  reputation,  the  preacher's  rhetorical  reputa- 
tion, yes,  the  preacher's  theological  reputation.  The 
evangehst  in  the  preaching  of  the  evangelistic  sermon 
will  not  be  principally  occupied  with  literary  form,  or 
rhetorical  expression,  or  even  of  theology  as  such.  His 
business  will  be  to  get  that  man  for  Christ,  and  when 
that  is  remembered,  the  sermon  will  get  its  true  tone, 
its  true  quality. 

One  other  word,  ^he  true  evangelist  will  be  very 
careful  to  avoid  the  possibility  of  a  passion  for  num- 
bered results  spoiling  his  message.  I  sometimes  fear 
lest  the  desire  to  have  large  statistical  returns  may 
tend  to  make  a  man  make  the  way  of  salvation  unduly 
easy.  I  think  there  is  a  danger.  We  have  been  preach- 
ing 'Believe,'  and  we  have  not  sufficiently  said  'Repent,' 
'repent,'  'repent,'  and  we  have  still  to  preach  this  truth, 
that  unless  a  man  will  turn  to  God  from  idols,  then  his 
faith  though  he  boast  of  it,  is  dead  and  worthless. 
There  is  no  question  of  precedence.  The  quality  of 
faith  must  be  that  of  repentence,  and  the  dynamic  of  re- 


pentance  must  be  that  of  faith,  and  when  we  urge  upon 
men  that  they  believe  on  the  Lord  Jesus,  we  must  say- 
that  belief  means  submission  to  the  Lordship,  and  that 
means  turning  from  every  other  lord  that  has  held 
dominion  over  the  soul.  We  must  not  lower  the  claim 
of  truth  as  presented  to  the  people.  Therefore  the 
evangelistic  sermon  must  be  as  carefully  prepared  as 
any  other  sermon.  We  cannot  dare  to  imagine  that 
we  have  the  right  to  face  a  great  crowd  of  people,  and 
declare  the  evangel  unless  we  have  taken  solemn  time 
to  know  the  evangel,  its  terms,  its  content,  and  its  mes- 
sage to  men.  When  some  of  our  best  trained  men,  the 
most  highly  equipped  mentally  turn  to  aggressive  evan- 
gelism, then  we  shall  have  the  most  successful  evan- 

A  word  about  the  after-meeting.  I  feel  very  strongly 
that  the  best  method  of  conducting  an  after-meeting 
is  that  of  making  it  an  after-meeting  rather  than  a  con- 
tinuance of  the  first  meeting.  That  runs  counter  to 
many  ideas.  Let  every  man  be  fully  persuaded  in  his 
own  mind.  Personally  I  do  not  Hke  an  after-meeting 
at  which  any  are  unwillingly  present.  I  ask  that  all 
those  who  would  like  to  stay  behind  do  so.  I  never 
make  an  appeal  (or  very  rarely  under  pressure  of 
circumstances)  until  I  have  given  an  opportunity  to 
everybody  to  go  who  desires  to  do  so.  It  is  sometimes 
said  that  by  such  means  we  miss  so  many  men  upon 
whom  the  Spirit  of  God  has  put  His  constraint.     I 


do  not  believe  it,  and  I  would  rather  have  a  dozen  peo- 
ple constrained,  convicted,  and  converted,  than  a  hun- 
dred caught  in  some  emotional  movement,  in  which 
movement  there  was  no  real  depth  of  conviction  and 
result.  The  after-meeting  is  to  give  men  and  women 
an  opportunity  to  decide  for  Christ  and  confess  Him 
immediately  and  openly.  Here  occurs  the  place  for 
enquiry  room  work.  There  is  no  sacramental  virtue 
in  an  enquiry  room.  The  enquiry  room  is  simply  for 
enquiring  souls  to  come  that  they  may  be  intelligently 
dealt  with  about  the  spiritual  perplexities.  And  that 
makes  necessary  the  training  of  enquiry  room  workers. 
You  cannot  deal  intelligently  and  correctly  with  a  hun- 
dred at  once.  Every  case  has  an  individual  problem, 
and  there  are  two  words  that  cover  the  ground  of  such 
work,  and  these  are  the  words  diagnosis  and  direction. 
By  diagnosis  I  mean  that  the  intelligent  enquiry  room 
worker  will  take  hold  of  the  case  and  find  out  where 
the  particular  difficulty  is.  It  is  not  at  all  wise  to  say, 
'AH  you  have  to  do  is  to  believe.'  The  difficulty  in 
each  case  must  be  discovered,  and  there  needs  careful, 
spiritual,  proper  training,  in  order  that  it  may  be  done. 
When  the  difficulty  is  found  out,  then  there  must  be 
the  quiet  clear  pointing  of  that  soul  to  Christ.  Then 
whether  in  the  after-meeting  or  in  the  enquiry  room, 
there  is  a  point  where  preacher  or  worker  must  stand 
aside,  and  leave  the  soul  with  God  alone.  I  have 
seen  people  go   with  their  Bible  to  an  enquirer,   and 


say,  *Now  do  you  see  that  verse?'  'Oh,  yes/  Well, 
can  you  read  that  verse  ?'  'Oh,  yes/  'Read  that  verse/ 
And  that  person  will  read  that  verse,  and  then  the 
worker  says  'Now  do  you  beheve  that?'  'Yes,  I  be- 
lieve that/  'Then  you  are  saved/  Now  we  have  no 
business  to  tell  any  man  he  is  saved.  There  is  a  point  where 
we  have  to  stand  aside  and  let  God  and  the  man  deal 
alone  with  each  other.  We  can  help,  lead,  point,  coun- 
sel, warn,  plead,  but  at  last  regeneration  is  the  com- 
ing of  God  to  the  soul  that  comes  to  Him,  and  we  have 
to  draw  aside  and  leave  the  individual  to  God. 

I  close  as  I  began.  I  do  not  like  lectures  on  methods, 
and  I  pray  you,  receive  what  I  have  said  only  as  I  have 
attempted  to  show  principles,  and  not  as  I  have  at- 
tempted to  lay  down  rules.  But  the  great  and  supreme 
matter  is  this,  that  every  church  of  Jesus  Christ  ought 
to  have  in  it  evangelistic  work  going  on  regularly  or 
periodically,  and  add  to  its  membership  by  such  as  are 
led  to  Christ  individually  and  directly. 



It  is  always  difficult  to  measure  correctly  the  times 
in  which  we  live.  It  has  been  said  that  no  man  can 
write  the  history  of  his  own  times.  Consequently  it 
is  not  easy  for  one  to  understand  the  spirit  of  his  own 
age,  and  yet  those  who  are  called  to  lead  must  know 
something  of  that  spirit ;  indeed,  it  is  one  of  the  essen- 
tial qualifications  for  leadership.  When  the  tribes  came 
up  to  make  David  king  at  Hebron,  it  is  said  of  the 
children  of  Issachar  that  they  "had  understanding  of 
the  times,  to  know  what  Israel  ought  to  do,"  and  im- 
mediately afterwards  it  is  further  said,  "all  their  breth- 
ren were  at  their  commandment."  That  is  to  say,  the 
men  that  led  were  the  men  of  Issachar,  and  all  the  rest 
of  the  tribes  were  willing  to  follow  their  lead.  That 
was  the  qualification  of  leadership,  "men  that  had  un- 
derstanding of  the  times,  to  know  what  Israel  ought  to 
do."  To  any  of  us  God  calls  to  leadership,  and  I  do 
not  mean  only  conspicuous  examples,  but  those  called 
into  the  ministry  of  the  Word  in  any  form,  one  of  the 


THB    PRESENT    OPPORTUNITY.         87 

prime  qualifications  is  an  understanding  of  the  times. 
It  is  pre-eminently  difficult  to  form  an  estimate  in 
spiritual  matters.  There  is  a  wide  application  in  the 
words  of  Jesus,  "The  wind  bloweth  where  it  will,  and 
thou  hearest  the  voice  thereof,  but  knowest  not  whence 
it  cometh,  and  whither  it  goeth :  so  is  everyone  that  is 
born  of  the  Spirit."  There  are  things  about  the  blow- 
ing of  the  wind  we  do  not  know,  so  also  with  regard 
to  the  spirit  of  the  age.  And  yet  the  Master  rebuked 
the  men  who  did  not  understand  their  own  age.  He 
said.  Ye  hypocrites,  "When  it  is  evening,  ye  say,  It 
will  be  fair  weather,  for  the  heaven  is  red.  And  in  the 
morning.  It  will  be  foul  weather  today:  for  the  heaven 
is  red  and  lowering.  Ye  know  how  to  discern  the  face  of 
the  heaven;  but  ye  cannot  discern  the  signs  of  the 

Recognizing  both  the  difficulty  and  necessity  then, 
I  want  to  speak  first  of  the  spirit  of  the  age,  and  then 
to  ask.  Have  we  an  evangel  that  meets  the  demand  ? 

The  spirit  of  an  age  is  not  always  to  be  discovered 
at  first  glance,  or  by  a  merely  casual  survey  of  the 
field.  Much  that  is  about  us  is  the  issue  of  a  past, 
and  the  true  spirit  of  an  age  is  not  to  be  defined  by 
the  general  consensus  of  opinion,  but  by  the  single 
voices  which  are  beginning  to  sound,  which  for  the 
moment  are  startling  and  full  of  surprise.  If  I  casu- 
ally survey  the  age,  the  first  thing  which  I  notice  is 
its  materiaHsm.    We  are  cursed  by  materialism.    Com- 


mercial  prosperity  has  seemed  as  though  it  would  grind 
under  its  heel  all  spiritual  life.  That  is  the  general  outlook. 
Yet  if  a  man  should  say  that  the  spirit  of  the  age  is  that 
of  materiaHsm,  he  has  missed  the  deepest  note.  He  has 
not  heard  the  deepest  voice,  but  has  taken  the  casual 
outlook.  A  general  survey  is  not  what  we  need.  It 
was  said  of  President  McKinley  that  he  was  a  great 
statesman,  because  he  had  the  faculty  of  putting  his 
ear  to  the  ground,  and  listening  for  the  things  that 
were  coming.  It  was  a  remarkable  capacity.  A  man 
who  knows  how  to  listen  for  the  new  voices,  and  see 
the  fresh  visions  is  the  true  statesman.  In  the  words 
of  the  Bible  he  is  a  man  "who  has  understanding  of 
the  times,"  and  knows  what  the  people  ought  to  do. 
We  don't  want  to  be  led  astray  by  the  clamour  of  the 
mob.  We  want  to  listen  for  the  new  voices,  the  voices 
which  are  forming  public  opinion.  If  that  be  under- 
stood, I  want  to  say  three  things.  I  think  that  the 
spirit  of  the  age  is  characterized  first,  by  a  revolt  against 
materialism.  That  is  the  very  opposite  of  the  first 
impression.  Yet  I  believe  that  to  be  the  note  which 
is  sounding  clearly  at  the  present  moment.  And  next 
there  is  abroad  a  new  passion  for  the  practical.  Call 
it  altruism,  utilitarianism  if  you  will.  I  prefer  the  other 
phrase  because  it  is  more  simple.  And  the  third  fact  is 
that  there  is  a  great  sense  present  in  the  hearts  of  men 
today,  of  some  coming  visitation.  These  three  notes 
mark  the  spirit  of  the  age  in  which  we  are  called  to  live 

THB    PRBSBNT    OPPORTUNITY.         89 

and  serve ;  first,  a  revolt  against  materialism ;  second,  a 
new  passion  for  that  which  is  practical;  and  finally,  a 
great,  mystic,  mysterious  sense  of  some  coming  visit- 

First  of  all  I  suppose  having  referred  to  materialism,  / 
and  then  having  declared  that  there  is  a  revolt  against 
materialism,  it  is  perfectly  fair  to  ask  me  to  demonstrate 
my  statement.  One  of  the  evidences  that  there  is  a 
revolt  against  materialism  in  the  air  is  the  marvelous 
and  astounding  growth  of  Christian  Science.  As  to 
Christian  Science  itself  I  hold  it  to  be  characterized 
by  an  absence  of  the  Christian,  and  an  ignorance  of 
science.  But  here  is  a  great  movement,  and  it  is  fair 
that  we  should  ask,  What  does  it  mean?  I  have  trav- 
eled in  your  railways  over  eighty  thousand  miles,  and 
visited  cities,  and  touched  all  sections  of  the  Christian 
ministry,  and  there  is  hardly  a  place  where  Christian 
Science  is  not  successful.  It  is  not  only  that  they  gather 
into  their  fold  fanatics  or  people  characterized  by  neu- 
rosis, but  some  of  the  sweetest  and  best  Christians 
have  also  gone  over  to  them.  What  is  the  secret? 
Christian  Science  stands  for  two  things:  the  negation  qf 
sin,  and  the  affirmation  of  J:];>^  spiritual.  That  is  an 
%ttempt  to  get  at  the  heart  of  it.  It  says,  There  is 
no  material,  everything  is  spiritual.  Matter  does  not 
exist.  It  is  a  mental  fault,  a  mental  miscalculation  to 
imagine  you  have  matter.  Thus  they  emphasize  the 
spiritual,  falsely  emphasizing  it  as  we  believe,  and  ab- 


surdly  too,  but  this  very  emphasis  of  the  spiritual  has 
been  the  attraction  of  a  people  tired  of  materialism. 
The  materialism  of  the  past  said,  Matter  is  everything, 
but  today  Christian  Science  says,  No,  matter  is  nothing, 
the  spiritual  is  everything.  The  argument  we  hold 
to  be  ridiculous  and  absurd  and  laughable,  but  the 
underlying  principle  is  the  thing  that  draws  the  multi- 
tudes, a  reaffirmation  of  the  spiritual. 

And  then  the  negation  of  sin.  Here  is  where  we 
supremely  join  issue  with  Christian  Scientists.  They 
are  calling  something  Christian  which  denies  atone- 
ment, because  it  denies  sin.  Any  theory  that  denies 
the  sin  of  man,  and  denies  the  Cross  of  Christ  is  some- 
thing to  be  dreaded.  And  yet  even  though  they  deny 
the  atonement  of  Christ,  they  endeavour  to  get  rid  of 
sin  by  denial.  1  do  not  hesitate  to  affirm  that  if  the 
Christian  Church  had  only  been  true  to  the  Gospel 
of  spirituality,  and  the  Gospel  of  holiness,  there  would 
have  been  no  room  for  Christian  Science.  And  yet  the 
presence  of  it  in  our  midst  is  evidence  of  a  revolt 
against  materialism,  and  though  it  is  but  a  will-o-the- 
wisp,  that  dances  among  the  quagmires,  men  would 
rather  have  the  will-o-the-wisp  than  the  dense  black 
darkness  of  materialism.     It  is  a  sign  of  the  times. 

But  still  far  more  striking  is  it  that  the  affirmations 
of  science  at  the  present  hour  most  remarkably  demon- 
strate the  truth  that  the  age  is  characterized  by  revolt 
from   materialism.     Huxley,    Spencer,  Tyndal,   Darwin 

THB    PRBSBNT    OPPORTUNITY,         91 

twenty-five  years  ago  denied  the  reality  of  anything  ex- 
cept matter.  We  heard  much  of  the  atom,  of  the  pro- 
toplasmic germ,  of  the  fortuitous  concurrence  of  atoms, 
and  these  were  given  to  us  as  the  final  solution  of 
which  man  was  capable,'of  the  whole  riddle  and  mystery 
of  the  universe.  Lord  Kelvin,  the/tiestor  of  British 
scientific  thought,  perhaps  the  most  remarkable  living 
man  of  science,  has  said,  that  "Science  positively  affirms 
creative  power,  and  makes  everyone  feel  a  miracle  in 
himself."  He  says,  "It  is  not  in  dead  matter  that 
man  lives,  moves  or  has  being,  but  in  the  creative 
and  directive  power,  which  science  compels  them  to 
accept  as  an  article  of  scientific  belief."  The  latest 
scientific  pronouncement  of  the  age  is  that  there  is 
something  at  the  back  of  matter,  that  there  is  a  spir- 
itual force  behind.  Science  has  not  yet  gone  far  enough 
to  define,  but  it  has  absolutely  abandoned  the  position  of 
twenty-five  years  ago,  that  all  that  is,  is  the  accidental 
coming  together  of  atoms.  Darwin's  evolutionary  the- 
ory has  passed.  The  evolutionary  theory  has  not  passed 
but  has  come  to  stay.  It  is  probably  true  in  certain 
realms.  But  the  evolutionary  theory  of  Darwin  is  not 
held  by  reputable  scientific  men  today.  That  some  germ 
of  truth  lies  within  the  theory  there  can  be  no  longer 
any  doubt,  but  we  are  now  coming  to  see  that  while 
the  evolutionary  theory  may  have  an  application  to  the 
material  realm,  it  does  not  account  for  spiritual  life 
at  any  point.     And  the  scientist  is  acknowledging  it. 



Two  very  remarkable  books  have  recently  been  issued. 
First  that  of  Professor  James  of  Harvard  University, 
entitled,  "Varieties  of  Religious  Experiences."  This 
is  a  book  written  not  from  the  standard  of  a  Christian 
man,  a  book  written  not  by  a  professor  in  a  Christian 
Theological  Seminary,  but  by  a  professor  of  psychology, 
plainly  and  simply  upon  the  basis  of  scientific  study 
of  the  psychological  problems  of  life.  He  has  gathered 
up  all  kinds  of  religious  experiences,  and  after  carefully 
and  systematically  examining  his  data,  has  made  his 
deductions.  Let  me  read  you  one  sentence  from  the 
part  of  the  book  in  which  the  Professor  gives  his 
conclusions.  He  claims  they  are  scienti^c  conclusions 
based  upon  an  examination  of  data.  "We  and  God 
have  business  with  each  other,  and  in  opening  ourselves 
to  His  influence,  our  deepest  destiny  is  fulfilled."  Here 
is  a  scientific  testimony  that  thousands  of  men  are 
reading  in  this  land  today.  Men  that  call  themselves 
scientists,  take  this  book  up,  and  they  read  that  after 
examination  of  the  experiences  of  men,  the  professor 
has  come  to  this  twofold  conclusion,  first  that  man  has 
dealings  with  God,  and  that  human  life  can  only  fulfill 
its  deepest  destiny  when  man  is  submitted  to  the  gov- 
ernment of  God.  The  influence  of  such  a  deduction 
by  so  eminent  a  scientific  thinker  is  bound  to  be  that 
of  creating  a  revolt  from  materialism  in  the  minds  of 
thousands  of  the  thinking  youth  of  our  colleges  and 

THB    PRMSBNT    OPPORTUNITY,         93 

And  yet  once  again,  there  has  issued  from  the  press, 
since  Prof.  James'  book,  a  book  by  Frederic  W.  H. 
Myers.  The  history  of  Myers  is  an  interesting  one. 
He  was  an  Oxonean,  and  a  pronounced  High  Church- 
man and  during  that  period  of  his  High  Churchism,  he 
wrote  the  poem  of  "St.  Paul,"  to  me  at  least  one  of  the 
most  exquisite  pieces  of  poetry  in  the  English  language. 
After  that  he  passed  into  agnosticism,  reverent  agnos- 
ticism, never  attacking  Christianity,  but  declaring  him- 
self to  be  unsure.  There  he  lived  for  years,  became  in- 
terested in  the  work  of  the  Psychical  Research  Society, 
of  the  phenomena  of  spiritual  existences  as  they  man- 
ifested themselves  in  ordinary  life,  and  outside  the 
church.  He  has  left  two  volumes,  published  after  his 
death,  the  title  of  which  reveals  the  subject.  "Human 
Personality,  and  its  Survival  of  Bodily  Death."  Such  a 
book  is  received  by  scientists,  they  will  read  this  book, 
and  they  will  not  all  agree  that  he  has  proved  his 
case.  But  as  Myers  says,  twenty-five  years  from  now 
no  reputable  scientist  will  question  the  fact  of  the  res- 
urrection of  Jesus  Christ  from  among  the  dead.  In 
the  next  twenty-five  years  we  have  to  speak  to  people  in 
whom  there  will  be  a  reawakened  sense  of  the  reality 
of  the  spiritual.  There  is  nothing  more  encouraging 
than  this,  that  in  the  world  of  purely  scientific  invest- 
igation there  is  a  re-afiirmation  of  all  the  things  we 
stand  for. 

The  next  note  of  the  age  is  a  passion  for  the  prac- 

94   /' 


tical.  I  need  hardly  stay,  in  speaking  to  American  au- 
diences, to  prove  the  truth  of  this.  You  have  a  passion 
for  the  practical,  for  you  have  no  respect  for  ancient 
things.  Americans  have  no  respect  for  institutions 
merely  as  such,  and  I  confess  I  have  the  profoundest 
sympathy  with  them.  It  is  the  altruistic  spirit  which 
governs  this  great  people,  and  it  is  in  the  van-guard 
of  humanity  at  the  present  moment.  The  cry  today  is 
for  an  ethical  and  social  Gospel.  Everywhere  men  are 
crying  for  a  social  and  ethical  Gospel,  for  something 
that  touches  all  needs  of  men's  lives.  There  is  a  passion 
everywhere  for  something  that  conditions  actual  life, 
and  affects  the  details  of  every  man's  doings.  It  is  a 
true  passion.  The  passion  for  the  practical  is  mani- 
festing itself  in  England  in  a  new  antagonism  to  Chris- 
tianity. Robert  Blatchford  is  writing  the  most  definite 
articles  of  attack  on  Christianity.  He  is  rousing  the 
whole  of  the  pulpits  in  England  to  consider  and  answer 
them.  So  strong  a  paper  as  the  "British  Weekly"  has 
thought  it  necessary  to  devote  space  to  answering  these 
attacks.  What  is  it  this  man  is  attacking?  He  is  at- 
tacking the  miraculous  and  supernatural  elements  in 
Christianity,  the  virgin  birth  of  our  Holy  Lord,  and 
His  resurrection.  Why?  Because  Christianity  fails 
to  do  what  he  thinks  she  ought  to  do ;  and  consequently 
this  very  antagonism  of  his  is  a  new  sign  of  the  passion 
for  the  practical. 

And  lastly  there  is  a  sense  of  coming  visitation,  of 

THB    PRBSBNT    OPPORTUNITY.         95 

which  we  hear  from  all  sides  and  from  divers  voices. 
Mistakes  of  interpretation  there  may  be,  but  the  gen- 
eral fact  is  recognized.  Men  everywhere  are  looking 
for  something,  they  hardly  know  what. 

Thus  I  hold  that  today  the  age  is  characterized  by 
revolt  against  materialism,  by  a  passion  for  the  practical, 
and  by  a  sense  of  daybreak  at  hand. 

Now  let  me  ask,  Does  our  evangel  fit  the  needs  of 
the  age?  Have  we  any  need  to  find  a  new  evangel, 
or  what  shall  we  do?  I  submit  that  the  evangel  of 
Jesus  Christ  exactly  answers  the  need  created  by  the 
spirit  of  the  age,  for  it  is  a  protest  against  materialism, 
and  an  assertion  of  the  variety  of  the  spiritual;  it  is 
practical,  or  it  is  nothing;  and  the  visitation  that  is  to 
come  must  have  as  its  essential  notes  the  very  evangel 
committed  to  us  to  declare. 

The  evangel  is  exactly  in  harmony  with  the  spirit  of 
the  age  in  its  revolt  against  materialism.  What  is  the 
Gospel  that  we  have  to  preach?  What  are  the  notes  of 
the  Gospel?  The  first  note  in  the  evangel  of  Jesus 
Christ  is  the  assertion  of  His  Lordship.  The  preaching 
of  the  Lordship  of  Christ  will  answer  this  cry  for  spirit- 
uality. Kelvin  has  affirmed  the  Divinity  of  creation 
or  the  Deity  at  back  of  creation.  Jesus  long  ago  stood 
among  the  flowers  and  birds,  and  said,  God  clothes  these 
flowers,  and  feeds  these  birds.  The  last  scientific  asser- 
tion synchronizes  with  the  simple  statement  of  the  Naz- 
arene  long  years  ago,  that  at  back  of  the  flower,  and 


bird,  and  everything,  is  God.  Dr.  James  says,  "We  have 
dealings  with  God."  That  is  the  last  affirmation  of  psy- 
chological science.  Listen,  "Seek  ye  first  His  Kingdom, 
and  His  righteousness,  and  all  these  things  shall  be  ad- 
ded unto  you."  That  is  the  answer  of  our  King.  The 
last  affirmation  of  psychological  science  harmonizes  with 
what  He  taught.  Frederic  Myers  in  his  posthumous 
work  affirms  in  this  day  human  personality  to  be 
stronger  than  death,  to  exist  after  the  death  of  the 
body,  that  man  does  not  cease  to  exist  when  his  body 
ceases  to  exist.  That  is  the  whole  declaration  of  two 
great  volumes.  Listen.  "Be  not  afraid  of  them  that 
kill  the  body,  and  after  that  have  no  more  that  they  can 
do."  In  neither  of  these  cases  did  Jesus  Christ  defend 
what  these  men  are  affirming.  They  refer  to  them  as 
discoveries.  He  referred  to  them  incidentally,  as  es- 
tablished verities.  What  this  age  needs  is  to  show 
that  Jesus  is  Lord  in  the  intellectual  realm,  and  that 
the  last  things  scientists  are  saying,  are  in  harmony 
with  the  things  Jesus  Christ  said  centuries  ago.  He 
was  not  the  half-educated  and  half-ignorant  Galilean 
peasant  some  would  have  us  believe,  but  supreme 
among  men  in  the  intellectual  realm ;  and  stated  as  the 
common-places  of  His  knowledge,  things  which  they 
have  taken  nineteen  hundred  centuries  to  spell  out.  He 
affirmed  the  reality  of  the  spiritual.  He  told  men  what 
they  need  is  eternal  life,  and  eternal  life  is  not  a  quan- 


tity,  but  a  quality,  life  that  touches  the  infinite,  that  is 
homed  in  God,  that  takes  in  eternity.  All  this  sighing 
after  the  spiritual  is  to  be  answered  by  preaching  Jesus 
Christ  as  Lord,  and  bringing  men  into  submission  to 
Him.  He  will  lead  them  into  life,  and  they  will  find 
they  have  an  answer  to  their  deepest  cry,  the  sense  of 
the  spiritual. 

And  then  as  to  the  passion  for  practical  things.  How 
is  it  manifested?  We  are  told  we  must  have  a  social 
and  ethical  Gospel.  Where  will  you  find  it?  It  is  a  re-, 
markable  thing  that  these  very  men  when  they  tell  us 
what  they  want,  refer  to  the  Sermon  on  the  Mount. 
Whose  Gospel  was  that?  It  is  the  Gospel  of  our  King. 
You  say  you  want  a  practical  Gospel,  that  this  age  must 
have  a  social  and  ethical  Gospel.  Well,  here  it  is.  But 
Christianity  as  it  delivers  its  message  is  more  prac- 
tical than  the  men  who  are  crying  for  practical  things. 
Men  are  saying,  We  want  an  ethical  and  social  Gospel. 
We  don't  want  to  hear  about  the  Cross.  We  have  had 
enough  of  the  Cross.  Give  us  something  social  and 
practical.  Christ  is  so  practical  that  He  never  asks 
men  to  obey  His  laws  unless  they  are  regenerate. 

Christ  takes  into  account  the  paralysis  in  human  life. 
You  cannot  build  up  a  regenerated  society  unless  you 
have  regenerated  men.  You  will  find  that  Christianity 
is  pre-eminently  practical.  It  does  not  attempt  to  con- 
struct a  living  society  out  of  dead  matter,  neither  does  it 



attempt  to  realize  a  pure  order  among  corrupt  men, 
neither  does  it  attempt  to  give  a  perfect  ethic  to  par- 
alyzed individuals.  It  takes  hold  of  the  man  first,  and 
remakes  him,  and  then  remakes  society.  It  takes  hold 
of  the  man  fast  bound  in  sin,  and  breaks  his  chains,  and 
then  tells  him  to  walk  upright.  Men  will  never  be  in- 
fluenced by  a  social  Gospel  until  they  have  heard  and 
obeyed  the  Gospel  of  regeneration. 

Let  us  thank  God  for  the  wider  outlook  of  the  age  in 
which  we  live.  Oh  how  many  children  are  crying  in 
the  night,  and  with  no  language  but  a  cry.  Our  busi- 
ness is  to  interpret  the  cry  of  the  child  to  itself.  Men 
want  something.  They  will  sob  out  all  sorts  of  foolish 
things,  and  tell  us  what  they  think  they  want.  Never 
let  us  forget  that  they  will  never  have  the  satisfactory 
answer  to  their  profoundest  and  widest  prayer  save 
along  the  line  of  personal  regeneration.  It  is  a  sad 
thing  indeed  when  a  minister  of  Jesus  Christ  thinks  of 
himself  as  an  interesting  entertainer,  an  intellectual  in- 
structor of  his  people  merely,  or  a  social  reformer,  or 
a  political  agent  merely.  He  ought  to  have  something 
else  to  do.  The  principal  work  to  which  he  is  called 
wherever  he  may  be  sent,  is  that  of  bringing  individ- 
uals into  touch  with  spiritual  realities,  and  in  propor- 
tion as  he  is  able  to  lead  men  to  Christ  individually,  he 
is  answering  the  cry  of  the  age  for  the  spiritual,  for  the 
practical;  and  contributing  to  that  great  visitation  for 
which  men  are  sighing  and  waiting  in  the  darkness. 


The  voices  of  the  age  are  full  of  hope.  I  know  the 
other  side.  I  know  the  pressure  of  the  burden,  and  the 
apparent  strength  of  sin.  These  are  but  the  symptoms 
of  a  day.  God  is  moving  towards  victory.  May  He 
make  us  fellow  workers  with  Him. 

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